Langara president Dr. Lane Trotter is a collector at heart, owning more than 300 coffee mugs, nearly all of which are from educational institutions.
“I’ve got mugs from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast,” said Trotter as he gazed nostalgically at the mug rack mounted to the wall of his top-floor office.
“There’s a story with each one of those mugs,” Trotter said.
The wooden rack is home to 48 of Trotter’s favourite mugs and was built for him by a Trades Discovery for Women class at BCIT that he helped improve.
Trotter said the case holds “memories upon memories” and says a lot about his journey through life.
Collecting is a hobby, not a psychology
Trotter’s history as a collector dates back decades and includes more than just mugs.
The president’s hobby started with lapel pins – he collected more than 2,000 of them. Then there were golf shirts and even jackets.
Antonia J.Z. Henderson, research psychologist at Langara, said there’s no clinical or deep-rooted reason behind why people collect certain things.
People will notice someone else’s collection and in turn give them something to add to it, she said.
Each mug has a special meaning
Trotter said he can’t quite remember which was the first of the many mugs displayed in his office or stored in boxes at home, but he can remember how each one reflects on his career path.
Although each mug holds a special place in Trotter’s heart, he favours a special mug he helped design.
The cherished mug bears a red Fanshawe College logo, which has since been discontinued because the Ontario school is looking to revamp it.
“There’s a logical sequence to how I have [the mugs] grouped. I try to keep mugs that are related together,” said Trotter.
One empty spot remains on the top shelf of the mug rack that Trotter said is being saved for something special but he doesn’t know what yet.
The very centre of Trotter’s mug display features a black Langara mug that reflects his passion for the college.
“The focus of my life right now is Langara . . . I’m so pleased and privileged to be here,” Trotter said.
Reported by Karly Blats