Located deep in the bowels of Wallace Library, Wheaton Technology Support is the college’s oasis for the technologically downtrodden. Though it is typically one of the library’s quieter spots, today the line of customers threatens to spill into the main halls of the library. Though their problems may differ in content and severity, many will say the same thing: I need Morgan.
Referred to by many as simply “Morgan” or, sometimes, “the guy with the hair,” Morgan Holland has been solving Wheaton College’s technological problems for over 20 years.
Holland’s knowledge as a Technical Support Specialist, combined with his jaunty humor and 80’s-inspired haircut, has made him a familiar face to many Tech Support customers. While he appreciates the recognition, sometimes his customers’ reliance and demand for instant gratification can be overwhelming.
“It’s feast or famine over here,” he says. “You don’t get a call for three hours at a time and then 20 people walk in.”
Today the masses have come to feast. Laptops balance precariously on the edge of the window ledge as the crowd presses into the narrow hallway, each customer clutching a computer to their chest. Everyone is vying for one man’s time.
“Everyone needs everything now because it’s an ‘emergency,’” says Holland. “The pace at Wheaton used to be slower.”
According to Holland, the demand for immediate gratification has intensified in the past two decades. He attributes this change to the year that the dorm networks went online and phones were installed. The work became faster paced and more “on-demand.”
A self-described go-with-the-flow type of guy, Holland says that these changes are not necessarily bad, just a sign that the program is changing. “Sometimes it’s a nice thing, sometimes it’s not.”
Not only is the program changing, it is expanding. Now that more people know about the services offered by Wheaton Technology Support, many customers have begun seeking help from technicians outside of the office. According to Holland, having a conversation with a staff member or student can sometimes lead to a week’s worth of work.
“I don’t eat at faculty-staff [dining room] anymore. Or the café in Balfour-Hood,” says Holland.
Once a person finds out that he works with computers, a technological problem mentioned off-hand quickly turns into a ticketed assignment. “Once you hear about it,” Holland says, “you have to fix it.”
Both in and out of the office Morgan Holland is the face of tech support. To the average student or staff member, it would appear that Holland’s goals and passions must somehow revolve around computer science and technological research. However, stepping into his cubicle, technology paraphernalia is noticeably absent.
“The reason I got into computers in the first place was not because I had this great, driving need to fix computers.” Far from being a passion, Holland considers electronics simply as tools of the trade. The job that he has is necessary so that he can live the life that he wants.
Early in his childhood, Holland was struck with a wanderlust that would follow him into his adult life. His parents loved to travel and the family moved a great deal, which sparked an early desire for movement. Eventually, their roaming led them to New England and, for Holland, Wheaton College.
Going into college, Holland’s goal was to eventually procure a portable career that would allow him to travel as much as he liked. Under the assumption that he could write from anywhere, he pursued a major in Creative Writing and Literature. He planned to become a syndicated columnist, writing humorous, engaging material. “Basically,” Holland says, “it was blogging before blogging started.”
However, as many recently graduated students know, finding the job of your dreams is not always easy. For a college graduate, convenience and reliability are sometimes the most attractive things about a job. So, when Holland heard that the Wheaton Technology Support program was known for hiring alumni, he jumped at the opportunity.
“I come from a long line of speculators,” says Holland, speaking to his natural inclination towards science and technology. His curiosity and instinctual desire to fix things stems from the lessons that he learned from his father, who he describes as “very handy.” As a result, Holland quickly began to succeed in his new job.
Despite the twenty years of experience that he has gained since beginning his work at Wheaton Technology Support, Holland never lost sight of his original ambitions.
“I spent my entire career carefully sidestepping promotion,” he says. Keeping his nights and weekends free, according to Holland, has been his greatest accomplishment thus far.
“I travel whenever I can,” he says, and turns to his desktop where a series of vivid photos flick across the screen. He points to a picture of translucent turquoise water. “That’s Aruba.”
Traveling with his wife and friends is one of Holland’s preferred activities, and he does it as often as possible. He still has yet to visit South America or East Asia but both are on his destination bucket list. He wants to be where the history is.
“I like to do different things,” he says, as he clicked through his radiant array of photos.
When he is not traipsing across the globe, Holland is involved in several other intriguing and explorative pursuits. Aside from photography, a passionate interest of his, Holland also writes poetry whenever he has the time and has created several stained glass pieces.
For someone who is known by many as “the tech guy,” it is obvious that Holland is not defined by his job. However, this does not prevent him from enjoying the many rewards of working at Wheaton Technology Support.
“I used to say that the semester wasn’t over until I rescued someone’s thesis,” says Holland. “I like it when someone comes in and they think that they’ve lost everything, and I actually get it back for them. It’s a good feeling.”
Besides helping people on a regular basis, Holland also gets to enjoy the great variety of issues reported by customers. He has handled everything from a laptop that had been run over with a car (which he successfully rebooted), to a student complaining that there were ants in his room.
Holland has found great success in his career, evident by the masses of Wheaton staff and students who rely upon him. However, even as the face of Wheaton Technology support, Holland admits that he still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up.
“When you don’t have responsibilities and a mortgage, it’s easier to make sweeping life decisions.” Leaning back in his chair, Holland shrugs contentedly. “Who knows what the future brings.”