200 Days in the Life of the College

Friday, December 3

The man who puts the ‘home’ in Hamilton

By Jacob Sheetz-Willard ’12

As the Athletic Department’s equipment manager, Dennis “Murph” Murphy has gone above and beyond the call of duty, often working seven days a week to help each team and athlete prepare for competition. “Murph’s personal attention to every single athlete never ceases to amaze me,” marvels ice hockey player Becky Cairns ’11.

Besides dutifully washing and administering both uniforms and equipment for 28 varsity teams and a handful of club squads, Murphy knows the name of every student he interacts with and never fails to greet each one. “Murph is easily the nicest person at Hamilton College,” says Dan Hughes ’12, a soccer player. “He’ll stop to chat whenever he sees you because he’s genuinely interested in what you’re up to.”

Arriving at Hamilton in 1977, Murphy worked for more than a decade with the Physical Plant crew before becoming equipment manager. “It’s never been about the money,” he says. “It’s the people and interactions that are the best part of my job.”

In addition to his work behind the scenes, the man in the blue jeans and button-down shirt is a staple at Hamilton athletic events. “I haven’t missed many home games in any sport, men’s or women’s,” he says. Anne Graveley ’11, a soccer and lacrosse player, contends that in her four years of sports, “Murph may have seen me play more than my friends!”


But above all, Murphy’s kindness has helped countless student-athletes feel welcome at Hamilton. Swimmer Megan Gibbons ’12 echoes the sentiments of many. “Murph is selfless, generous in spirit, and tries to give as much as he can without ever asking for recognition,” she says. “He deeply cares. Murph helps make Hamilton my second home.”