Veteran CCAD employee Mark Ludaway retires after more than 30 years

In his thirty-plus years working at Columbus College of Art & Design, Mark Ludaway has seen a thing or two.

“I’ve seen my share of weirdness,” including, he says, something he originally mistook for a dead body. (Luckily, it was instead a piece of student art.) 

Ludaway, a Columbus native who grew up in the midst of a large family of eight brothers (nine, counting him) and six sisters, will retire this month. What kept him at CCAD after all of these years?

“I just love to be around people and the students discussing artwork,” he says. “I’ve been around art just about all of my life,” he says. (That includes work by one of his sisters, Velma Ludaway, a 1971 Illustration grad.) 

Ludaway began at CCAD as a security guard but seven years into the gig decided to shift roles and become a custodian at the college instead. He worked in all of CCAD’s buildings, spending the last several years working in the Canzani Center, where he has cut a well-liked figure around the building’s halls and offices.

“I personally want to thank Mark for his care of and service to CCAD. Seeing and chatting with Mark in the early mornings in Canzani has been one of the highlights of my first year (Mark, I'm sorry I scared you that one time!). While my time at the college has been relatively short, Mark has been dedicated to CCAD for over 30 years. I know many of you join me in appreciation and sentiment, we will all miss Mark, but we’re happy and honored to celebrate this next adventure with him,” says Vice President for Administration and Operations Lisa Stoneman.

While there’s a lot Ludaway will miss about CCAD, there’s one thing he won’t: The early mornings. Ludaway arrives for work at 6 a.m. after a 3 a.m. wakeup. (He likes to give himself time to get ready, he says.) “I never was one who slept a lot,” he says, and that’s no exaggeration: Ludaway’s bedtime usually lands around midnight.

“I won’t miss getting up early in the morning. I won’t miss swinging that mop every day. In the wintertime, I’m constantly swinging that mop,” he says.

Still, there has been one thing that his early-to-rise habits have benefitted: His love of fishing. Locally, Ludaway fishes around Hoover Dam, Alum Creek, Buck Creek, and the Scioto River. He and his brothers also take twice-annual fishing trips to Lake Erie.

When he’s not fishing, Ludaway spends time visiting his family in Atlanta and Las Vegas. He expects he’ll be able to do more of that with retirement.

In short, his plans after leaving CCAD are straightforward: “A little of nothing. A lot of fishing.”