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BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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BG mayor has true Falcon spirit

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the Aug. 18 freshman edition. It is being reprinted for students who did not move in early.

Though he graduated from the University almost 35 years ago, Bowling Green Mayor John Quinn is more involved at BGSU than some students.

Quinn, who has been mayor of the city since 2000, eats lunch with incoming freshman every day during the four weeks of orientation, attends Undergraduate Student Government meetings and even helps facilitate a session for BG eXperience.

“In a way, I’ve been going to Bowling Green State University for 40 years now,” he said.

The 59-year-old Canton, Ohio, native came to the University in 1965 to study history and education.

By 1972, he held bachelors of education, masters of history and a job as a history teacher at Bowling Green Junior High School. Five years later, he took a job at Bowling Green High School teaching juniors and seniors.

Neal Allen, who was principal of BGHS during Quinn’s 30-year teaching career, said Quinn was one of the school’s most loved teachers.

On election days, Quinn entertained students by covering himself in old campaign buttons.

But he was always a professional and made students work hard while at the same time keeping each history lesson meaningful and fun, Allen said.

Quinn began his political career in 1979 when he served as a member of the Housing Commission. He later became the commission’s chairman.

During this time, Quinn also served students at BGHS coaching football, swimming and tennis. He also co-founded the school’s quiz bowl team.

In 1984, he became president of City Council and served as chair of several committees until 1990.

When he decided to run for mayor in the 2000 election, Quinn said no one was particularly surprised.

“I felt this was my chance to do something,” he said.

For Quinn, that something has been working on the goal of collaboration.

In his two terms of office, Quinn said he’s tried to help officials in city schools, county government and the University work together for common goals.

He also helped begin The Community Coalition for Youth and Families, a group of local leaders that finds ways to help youths deal with problems such as underage drinking and suicide.

Jill Carr, Associate Dean of Students, said Quinn has been a great friend of the University.

“He reaches out so much to communicate with us and work with us,” she said. “He reaches out more than I ever would’ve anticipated.”

Quinn has always sought out student opinions, and if there’s a problem, he doesn’t just whine about it, he works to resolve the issue, Carr said.

When City Council decided to enforce a zoning rule two years ago that required no more than three unrelated inhabitants in a house, Quinn talked with University President Sidney Ribeau and BGSU students.

Although many students and University officials disagreed with the decision, Quinn allowed unrelated students living in area housing first semester to wait until the end of the school year to move.

John Fawcett, municipal administrator and director of safety, said that situation, among others, proved that Quinn is always willing to listen to community members, including University students.

“He’s very adept at the pulse of the community and really puts people at ease,” Fawcett said.

Quinn said he thinks students can benefit just as much from the community as lifelong residents.

“Students are residents too,” he said. “They need to realize the community is part of their life for a few years.”`

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