Thursday, October 01, 2015

[105] MTSU facilities services personnel honored for outstanding professionalism

MURFREESBORO — Two members of the MTSU community have received national recognition for their outstanding work in maintaining campus facilities.

David Gray, former assistant vice president of facilities services, was one of three recipients of the Meritorious Service Award August 4 at the 2015 APPA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Gray, who is now retired, was a banker and president of the Chamber of Commerce in Murfreesboro when he was recruited by former vice president of business and finance Duane Stucky to change jobs in 1993. A little more than a year later, he was named director.

In a story published in the September-October 2011 edition of Facilities Manager magazine, Joe Whitefield, who succeeded Gray as assistant vice president of facilities service in 2015, explained Gray’s approach to his work.

“He is an outstanding manager and leader, although he comes about it in a different way than you might expect in a facilities organization,” Whitefield said. “He’s involved in everything, but he’s not a micromanager. But he’s always learning, studying. bringing new thinking.

Gray served as president of APPA, formerly the Association of Physical Plant Professionals, during the 2011-2012 term. More than 12,000 educational facilities professionals from 1,300 institutions in North America belong to the organization.

MTSU’s Department of Facilities Services is responsible for the maintenance and operation of physical facilities, including mechanical and electrical systems, building repairs, utilities, construction and renovations, grounds services, custodial services, operation of steam and chiller plants, the motor pool, automotive maintenance and landscaping.

Kelly Ostergrant, executive secretary in the Department of Facilities Services, was chosen as one of eight Unsung Heroes for 2015 by APPA.

“We try to provide a timely and important service to the campus, and the work that she does for us is invaluable,” said Whitefield.

“We wear a lot of hats,” said Ostergrant. “We’re a soft-spoken group. You know, you don’t see us unless something’s wrong, but we do it with a smile. We get out there and help people, and we get our jobs done correctly and promptly. We take care of the campus because that’s our job and we love it.”

For more information about MTSU facilities services, go to or call 615-898-2414.

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