Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Anonymous Texas A&M-Kingsville Group Names Assistant to the Dean of Students a “Bringer of Light”

KINGSVILLE - April 05, 2007

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Cusack standing next to Luminaria award

Joseph L. Cusack, assistant to the dean of students, is the latest person on the campus to be named a “bringer of light” by the Servants of Las Luminarias.

An anonymous collection of campus community members, the Servants of Las Luminarias select those that they feel are “bringers of the light of the knowledge of goodness to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus community.” 

As an honoree, Cusack received a ceramic “luminaria,” or large ornamental candle holder, a rose and a framed certificate of recognition. The certificate stated that Cusack has, through word and deed, “selflessly and consistently shone the light of goodness into our midst.”

Cusack wasn’t familiar with the honor before he received it, but was both surprised and moved by the gesture. On receiving an honor like this, Cusack said, “It means everything to me.”

He started at the university as a part-time clerk in the ID center in April 1977, then became the full-time director of the center in 1978. He served as the game room manager for two years starting in 1979 before becoming the assistant director of what is currently the Memorial Student Union Building (MSUB) in 1981, then the director of the MSUB in 1995. He served in that position for six years before assuming his current post of assistant to the dean of students.

In addition to his current full-time duties, Cusack arrives two hours early every morning to work in the MSUB food services, preparing meals. It’s one of a number of extra responsibilities he has chosen to take on at the university.

Some of these extra, self-imposed duties are evident when Cusack notes the two accomplishments he’s most proud of since he’s worked at the university. One is spending last August assisting new and returning international students. During that month, Cusack said he picked up a total of 140 students from the airport, drove them 7,006 total miles and put in 392 work hours. His other accomplishment was working for 21 straight nights at the J.K. Northway Exposition Center, helping evacuees of Hurricane Katrina. Cusack notes working 15-20 hour days between his work duties and volunteer duties during that time.

That sense of discipline and tirelessness came at a very early age for Cusack, as he notes working at the Ionia News Agency with family from age eight to 17.

He also served in the U.S. Navy from 1956-1962, was a manager with Great Western Finance for six years and supervised the circulation department of the Kingsville Record for four years before coming to the university.

After nearly 30 years on campus, Cusack credits his devotion to A&M-Kingsville to the people around him. “I like working with the students. They’re my whole life.”

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