UVA Today is highlighting the winners of the 2013 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Awards, the highest U.Va. honor staff members receive for their dedicated service to the University. Today: Warren “Hubba” Wood of Facilities Management. To see all of the stories, click here.
So you say you need to replace dozens of signs in your huge parking garage – quite literally overnight?
Warren “Hubba” Wood Jr. is your guy.
You say the U.S. Secretary of State is coming to Grounds to speak, and you need to locate a suitably tall podium, refurbish it and build a step for shorter speakers to use while standing behind it? And do it all in two days?
Even cancer hasn’t much slowed the ever-positive Wood, who supervises the sign shop for U.Va.’s Facilities Management division. In their letter supporting his nomination, Marc Powell, senior manager of project services, and Mark Stanis, associate director for project services, recounted that after missing five weeks for surgery to treat a recurrence of cancer, Wood “returned to work and the next day was out working to install fencing, coordinate signage installation, and was the onsite coordinator for events” for Reunions Weekend 2012.
(Later in the summer, he dyed his hair pink to fulfill a promise he made to those who helped him raise $6,000 for the Women’s 4-Miler, which benefits breast cancer research.)
It’s all part of the job for Wood, who seems to take last-minute and unusual requests in stride.
“When new buildings or major renovations are completed, it’s often Warren’s group in at the last hour installing directories and room signage,” wrote Jay Klingel, director of operations and maintenance, in his nomination letter. “When that special engraved plaque needs to be provided in a minute’s notice, Warren is the go-to guy.”
Klingel noted that one such plaque even made its way into space. At the request of U.Va. alumnus and NASA astronaut Patrick Forrester, Wood crafted a four-ounce honor code plaque that Forrester carried on a 2009 space shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
Despite his accommodating nature – and yes, he and his crew did stay up all night redoing the signage in the Health System’s parking garage, in order to minimize inconveniences to patients, visitors and staff – Wood does have a life outside the sign shop.
For 30 years, he has served with the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department, answering emergency calls at all hours of the night. In November 2011, he and his son Robert responded to a vehicle fire and pulled three passengers from a car moments before flames engulfed the vehicle.
Need a hero? Call Hubba.