TOMMY CRAFT: SERVING THE UNIVERSITY LOYALLY FOR 46 YEARS
Tommy Craft is one of the
university’s longest tenured employees, serving the university
since July 1965. He has stayed true and adapted as the printing
industry evolved and the university grew.
Craft first joined the university as a linotype operator. He had
studied printing at San Jacinto High School, a vocational high
school in Houston ISD, and worked for one month after graduation
at an envelope company. He then joined the university doing
letterpress printing. He had two years away when he served for
the Army including a year spent in Vietnam during the war. Craft
has been a part of the University of Houston ever since.
“It’s a good place to work. They’ve always treated me right,”
Craft said. “Over the years I’ve actually applied to other jobs
and been hired but didn’t take it for one reason or another, and
all of those companies are out of business now.”
He said the university offers security and better benefits than
most other opportunities in the printing industry. By staying at
the university, Craft has had the opportunity to develop new
skills and move up in his field. After working as a linotype
operator, he knew the letterpress was on its way out so he
talked to his supervisor about moving into a part-time position
in the camera room as a lithographer. He was trained for two
months before his full-time coworker became ill and had to leave
the university. Craft took over the duties and served as the
university’s lithographer for five years.
He then moved into the production area where he currently
resides as Assistant Print Manager. In his position, he operates
as the production manager, overseeing his staff, scheduling
printing jobs and maintaining the equipment. He has watched the
university grow from a small state college into a major Tier One
He kept up with the times as the printing industry
moved from plates to computers. The most memorable change he
remembers was the addition of the KBA press, a four color press
added to the university a couple of years ago that cuts job
production times in half. Now printing jobs only have to run
through the printer once instead of twice. After 46 years, Craft
continues to evolve and loyally serve a university that has
treated him well.
Not only has it provided him with a long career, but it also led
him to meeting his wife of 30 years, Brenda. The couple met
after she was transferred from the Registrar’s Office into
Printing and Postal. They married and joined their family of
five children. Craft and his wife now have a total of 13
grandchildren, ranging from the ages of 11 to 26.
Thanks to Tommy for his continued service to the university!