Outstanding Contribution Award
Each year the University of Virginia recognizes publicly and expresses gratitude to certain Non-Faculty salaried employees whose service and contributions have far exceeded the usual and customary expectations of their positions.
This program provides the opportunity for members of the University community to nominate employees who have made outstanding contributions. Nominees are restricted to satisfactory, non-probationary, salaried staff employees. Any member of the University community may make a nomination; however, employees may not nominate themselves.
Facilities Management is proud of our colleague Rich Hopkins who was recognized by the University of Virginia as one of only 11 recipients of the 2009 Outstanding Contributors' Award.
Rich Hopkins Digs Deep in Sustainable and Creative Landscaping on Grounds
"Rich treats the entire University Grounds as though it was his property, with a care of detail befitting one of the most prestigious properties in the world," wrote Jay Klingel, director of operations and maintenance, in nominating landscape superintendent Richard M. Hopkins for an Outstanding Contribution Award.
Since joining the University in 1997, Hopkins has been a leader in caring for the Grounds. In addition to maintaining the beauty of a wide variety of plantings, his efforts have included researching and pioneering sustainable practices, finding ways to capture water condensation from chiller plants and storm water management ponds to water plants, advocating for and implementing a University-wide plan to protect trees during construction projects, and taking on jobs formerly outsourced that are now done better and at less cost to the University.
His accomplishments have been achieved through collaboration, consensus-building and a positive outlook and approach.
"He is always willing to provide whatever assistance he can. 'No' is just not a part of his vocabulary," wrote Pam Higgins, director of major events, and Harland Harris, associate director. Both work closely with Hopkins throughout the year on major events, including Finals Weekend, Fall Convocation and Founder's Day.
Hopkins expects no more from his 70-plus employees than he expects of himself. Whether clearing roads and sidewalks after a snowstorm in the wee hours of the morning, cleaning up after a football game or working extra hours in the weeks leading up to graduation, he is there working alongside his crews.
Katherine S. Meyer, preservation project manager, captured the essence of Hopkins' spirit in her support of his nomination.
"Rich understands that the University is its people," she wrote. "He allows them to grow and become more than they knew they could. There is no more basic building block that a member can provide to his community."
Content and photograph courtesy of UVA Today, September 19, 2009