Hank Childers

BA 1971, Philosophy

Director of Information Technology, Univeristy of Arizona

Hank started Purdue in 1966 as a Civil Engineering major.  After a year and a half, he changed his major to Philosophy and graduated in January of 1971.  He was interested both in Philosophy and in Creative Writing.  After graduation he was set to go to grad school at Washington University in St. Louis, but changed his mind at the last and decided to enter what he thought of as the “real world” of work.  He worked then for four years at Purdue, in an administrative role in the new field of Data Processing.

 In 1975 he took a job with Mt. Sinai Hospital in Minneapolis, and worked there for four years, also in DP.  He continued his interest in writing, mostly poetry.  In 1979 he crossed over from the employee world to the consultant world and took an assignment in New York (Long Island) for one year and then Connecticut for one year.  At that point, married and with a new baby, he and his wife Margaret moved back to Minneapolis, and he joined Cytrol. 

Cytrol was primarily involved in developing custom software for big-name clients.  Hank’s work was mostly with clients in financial services.  Work took him frequently to New York, and on occasion to other places including London, Paris, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, and Sao Paulo, along with a number of cities in the U.S.  His role was initially a hands-on technical role, but evolved into project management.  After several years he and 6 colleagues had the opportunity to buy the company from its current owners, and he became an entrepreneur. The company had suffered greatly due to the 1987 stock market crash, but they were able to build the business back up, and in 1995 sold the business to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

 In 1999 he decided to retire to his then home in Tucson, Arizona, and concentrate on music.  (In 1992 he had rekindled his interest in writing but now applied it to songwriting.)  He and his music partner performed under the name Bright & Childers, an acoustic duo focusing on vocal harmonies.  They were active in the Southwest, especially in New Mexico and Arizona, and a little in Texas and Colorado.  During that time they also did a couple of tours (including a stop in Lafayette).

 In 2001 9/11 happened, and things changed—they came in off the road.  His partner went back to school, and he went back to work, taking a job at the University of Arizona.  Initially he worked as a management analyst in HR, and after several years was given the opportunity to manage the UA’s $80 million dollar project to replace all of its aging administrative systems.  This project was successful, and he is now the Executive Director of University Analytics & Institutional Research.  He also teaches Business Intelligence to grad students in the Eller Business School.  Outside of work he served for several years as the President of the Board for KXCI, Tucson’s community radio station.

 He is still active as a songwriter and performer, with a new project known as the Bright & Childers Quartet, now playing electric guitar.  His wife Margaret Coe is very active as a weaver, with several books on complex weaving, and frequent workshops.  He is an avid hiker as well, walking the many trails in the mountains that surround Tucson, wondering about the next chapter.

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