Stewardship in Action: Dave Morrison is 2023 Building Manager of the Year
VCU has honored VCU Libraries Facilities Director Dave Morrison as the 2023 Monroe Park Campus Building Manager of the Year.
The award recognizes building managers who go above and beyond their required responsibilities to serve building tenants and the VCU community and to address the needs of the building(s) they caretake and manage. The honoree receives a one-time $500 monetary award.
Morrison has been James Branch Cabell Library’s building manager since 2004, and has established “spectacular rapport,” as described by a colleague, with colleagues all over campus. He works daily with the VCU Facilities Management Division, and frequently with colleagues in Safety and Risk Management. Similarly, he coordinates closely with the SSC Services housekeeping contract. As one of his former supervisors said: “Dave seamlessly works with a wide variety of stakeholders to bring very diverse folks together for common goals to provide the university community with excellent library space for study, events, research and creativity.”
In the nomination document, colleagues complimented Morrison as a “thorough and proactive communicator, who goes above and beyond to make patrons and staff aware of building protocols” and issues. A talented visual artist, Dave uses jokes, memes, and his incredible original artwork to convey what’s going on. As one of his colleagues commented, “Dave’s art and writing style always grab our attention,” which in turn results in VCU Libraries’ employees increased awareness of facilities and building matters.
As stated in the nomination: “He approaches all aspects of his job with energy, heart, and enthusiasm, and generally just delights every person he works with. … His energy and humor are contagious, and his approach positively impacts morale.”
By so thoughtfully and proactively managing public spaces, he ensures that library users — mostly VCU students — have the types of spaces they need to engage in research and study.
In other specific accomplishments:
- He has also played key roles in major facilities projects, including the 2016 expansion and addition to Cabell Library. Morrison was a key part of collaborative teams who addressed construction issues–helping us secure contractors, overseeing installations, troubleshooting lightning and locking problems, and thinking through the scheduling and phasing of construction projects.
- Cabell Library has for many years had the longest hours and the highest traffic of any student-focused building at VCU, and his dedication to improving spaces has made an impact on student success.
- He helps safeguard collections to ensure that materials, particularly rare and unique items, are in the most appropriate physical conditions. He has responded to many emergency situations that threaten these rare and valuable collections.
- He and his team have also become critical players in executing VCU Libraries events — as many as 300 annually.
- Morrison’s work was critical during the height of COVID-19. During the pandemic, he led the full reconfiguration of all public spaces in Cabell Library. He plotted locations for all hand sanitizer and wipes, de-densified and tidily stored furnishings, placed decals and signage with precision. He also led the process of relocating staff who worked on site during the pandemic from open office areas to private offices.
“Dave also approaches his work with more of a “can-do” attitude than anyone I’ve worked with,” says his supervisor, Associate Dean Laura Gariepy. “Even projects that seem daunting or a significant undertaking are no match for Dave, who cheerfully indicates that “he’s on it!” He has created welcoming, inclusive spaces through all of the assets he brings to the table, and we are so grateful for his contributions.”