MARYVILLE, Mo. — Those who shared stories about John C. Redden at a ceremony Tuesday agreed it was fitting that his name would forever be on a power plant: the behind-the-scenes force helping every building on campus hum right along — just like Redden.
Family, friends and community members gathered Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the dedication of Northwest Missouri State’s power plant, and the man it’s dedicated to.
“Every square inch of this campus reminds us of John,” said university president John Jasinski, echoing comments made at the December board meeting when the school decided to dedicate the plant to Redden.
A 36-year firefighter and lifelong contributor to the community, friends spoke of Redden’s uncommon generosity and care, emergency responders spoke of his commitment to safety and the community, and colleagues spoke of his exacting standards and innovation. All spoke of Redden’s unique ability to have a positive impact on everyone he met.
Redden, who passed away last year, was one of the minds behind one of the university’s signature initiatives: its alternative fuels program, begun in 1982 with partner Bob Bush, who spoke at Tuesday’s ceremony. Today, the program uses wood and paper fuels to account for 58 percent of the campus’ total energy consumption, and 88 percent of its heating requirement. The school estimates it has saved nearly $16 million in energy costs.