Leslie Lestinsky | January 27, 2020
For Paul Kempf, assistant vice president for utilities and maintenance, studying and then working in electrical engineering at Notre Dame came second nature.
After all, he literally grew up on campus watching his dad do exactly the same thing.
Kenny Kempf, Paul’s father
His father, Kenneth “Kenny” Kempf, served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Coming home, he returned to Notre Dame, his alma mater, to study electrical engineering. Kenny married and settled into Notre Dame housing that adjoined Vetville. Paul was born soon afterward.
After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering, Kenny went on to teach for the department and eventually directed operations of the Notre Dame power plant.
Young Paul would ride along with his dad on service calls when Kenny pursued a stint working for Koontz-Wagner, the University’s electrical contracting firm.
Even as a college freshman at Notre Dame, Paul would hitch a ride to campus with his father. At the time, Kenny was directing operations at the power plant. Paul would hang out there for an hour or so each morning before heading to classes. Employees would comment, “You’re going to come back here and run this place, Paul.”
That was the furthest thing from his mind.
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