Plant worker keeps TCU clean
Peterson, a waste management specialist, has worked at
TCU for 31 years and made a career out of keeping the
university clean and safe.
Eddie Peterson leaves his east Fort Worth home at 6:30
a.m. to start work at 7 a.m. at TCU. Hes been doing
this more than half his life.
Peterson is not a professor; he is employed by the Physical
Plant and has spent his career making sure TCU is clean
He is a shy man who doesnt enjoy talking about himself.
I have a hard time puttin things in words,
But Peterson doesnt let his shy demeanor stop him
from smiling at passing students with a toothless grin
and raising his TCU cap to call out Good morning!
in a Southern drawl.
His leathery face has more than enough wrinkles to mark
his 31 years at this university.
Peterson, 60, got his start at TCU in 1973, as a supervisor
of the house-cleaning night crew. He worked for eight
years before leaving for a year to work for Tarrant County
Junior College, only to return the following year to take
a day job with the Physical Plant.
Peterson said he took the day job in 1982, so he would
have time to spend with his eight children and his wife,
Glisson, whom he has been married to for 31 years.
This is my second home, Peterson said of TCU.
I spend more time here at this university than I
do at my real home.
Now, Peterson is the waste management specialist, and
he travels the campus in a truck to pick up litter and
the trash in bins.
But his job entails more than picking up trash.
Peterson also puts down the hot tape that marks individual
parking spaces, and he puts up new parking signs and repairs
Additionally, he sets up the orange traffic cones and
barricades around campus for athletic games.
Although Peterson said he is a die-hard Frogs fan, he
only gets to watch about 15 minutes of any game because
he helps with traffic flow in the parking lots.
If its a Saturday night football game, then Peterson
will work all day getting the parking lots ready, said
Mike Warren, fleet and equipment maintenance supervisor
at the Physical Plant. Peterson wont leave until
1 a.m. Sunday and he will be back Monday morning ready
to go, Warren said.
Petersons willingness to stay late is part of his
nature, Warren said.
He is real conscious of his job, Warren said.
He knows his job. If you hold him back, hell
Peterson said he is proud to be part of the TCU staff
because the university trusts him to get his job done.
I was taught how to work with my hands, Peterson
said. I was in special ed, and my hands are my trade.
They know I can complete any job.
Up until two years ago, Peterson worked seven days a week,
but now he takes the weekends off.
For years he did it all by himself, but I decided
seven days was too much, Warren said. He needs
to have a life of his own. But he probably sits at home
all weekend worrying that something isnt getting
done up here.
Peterson said the greatest benefit of his job is his children
can get free tuition to TCU.
I cant read, and I cant write, so thats
why I tell my children to get their high school diplomas
and try to go to college, said Peterson, who never
graduated from high school.
Out of his eight children, one son, Terry Lee, graduated
from TCU in 1992 and now serves in the military. His youngest
child, 16-year-old Karen, plans on coming to TCU in 2007,
Ive worked here at this university around
so many young girls and boys, but now I will finally have
one of my own to see walking around campus, Peterson
said. Im real proud of her for wanting to
Karen, a freshman at O.D. Wyatt, said she has wanted to
come to TCU since the fifth grade to study to become a
All my brothers and sisters had a chance, but they
blew it off, Karen said. I have the advantage
to learn things other kids dont get to because my
father works here.
Peterson said he doesnt only care about his children,
but also thinks of all students as one of his own and
looks out for their safety by taking extra precaution
when driving around campus.
I do not drive fast, Peterson said. Everyone
says I drive too slow, but you never know when a student
will step out between parked cars and you nail them.
Last year, Peterson was recognized for 30 years of employment
at TCU with a bronze clock with his name and the number
of years of employment engraved on it.
People couldnt believe I had been out here
for that long, Peterson said of the human resources
staff at the ceremony.
Peterson said he plans on working for TCU as long as he
I feel like at home here, Peterson said. To
work here, you ought to be pretty proud because I am.