SUU to Everywhere

Michael Kartchner (’05)

Michael Kartchner (’05)
SUU to Facilities Guru

Originally published on June 16, 2021.

A 30-year veteran of Southern Utah University, Michael Kartchner says SUU is his “home away from home” and credits the University for giving him wonderful experiences that have shaped him into the person he is today.

Michael grew up in Taylorsville, Utah, and says he was a typical blond-haired boy that loved to hang out with friends and family. But he also loved the theater—technical theater to be precise—and was an eager member of the stage crew at Taylorsville High where he worked in various positions, including stage manager of Anything Goes prior to his 1988 graduation.

In 1989, Michael enrolled at SUU and began studying theatre arts. He accepted what in reality was the lone scholarship provided in Utah Shakespeare Festival history and credits that scholarship for giving him a “top-notch” educational experience prior to serving a church mission in Toronto, Canada, in 1991.

Following a five-year educational hiatus, which included his mission and work with disabled adults and children, Michael returned to his theatre studies at SUU and began working with the Festival. He went on to graduate in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts.

“Without the assistance of many professors on the SUU campus I would not have graduated,” Michael says. “I had many mentors, but my theatre teachers were the best and I could not have asked for any better, especially when it came to Fred C. Adams, Rebecca White, and Gary ‘Mac’ McIntyre.”

His work with the Utah Shakespeare Festival spanned 25 years and included a variety of positions, most notably that of director of facilities and technology. He was vital to the operation of the Festival and a valuable team member in the organization’s year-round operation. In 2019, he accepted a position as lead custodian on campus, working in the Electronic Learning Center area, and thoroughly enjoys his interaction with students. He remembers the impact SUU mentors had on him and hopes to “pay it forward” by being a trusted mentor to others.

Michael has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross for more than 23 years now, and in 2016, received the Good Samaritan Award for his service. He also volunteers with the Cedar City Junior Ballet where his technical theatre skills benefit that organization with its annual productions.

He and his wife Faelynn (’18) are the parents of three children and have one granddaughter.