Chancellor Martin Takes on Grounds Maintenance Duties

Chancellor Martin Takes on Grounds Maintenance Duties

On the way to class Wednesday morning, senior business management major Justin Lawson caught a glimpse of Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. performing a new job on campus.

“I saw his Tweet (on Tuesday) and on my way to class, I saw a lawnmower that wasn’t quite going in a straight line and I said ‘that’s got to be him’,” Lawson said with a laugh. “It is cool to see him out here. He looks like he’s having fun.”

And he did have fun in his third and final “I Can Do That” challenge of the academic year where he cut and edged grass, trimmed hedges and planted flowers. In his previous two challenges, the chancellor served lunch in Williams Dining Hall and helped with resident assistant duties in Blair and McNeil halls in the Aggie Village.

In an effort to engage more with the campus community and better understand the intricacies and importance of their work and contributions to the university, Martin agreed to perform several jobs that would normally be occupied by students, staff and faculty members.

Director of facilities operations Virginia Fullwood said the chancellor arrived at the physical plant ready to take on all the tasks the Office of Facilities had planned.

“He showed up a few minutes early, we provided him with the proper equipment and he was really excited to get started,” Fullwood, said. “Our guys were just gleeful to share with him what they do every day to keep our campus beautiful.”

Prior to each of his tasks, the chancellor had a brief tutorial with a staff member where they were able to engage beyond the work.

“It was a wonderful experience to work alongside such a strong and committed group of staff members,” Martin said. “Often when we have visitors they make remarks about how beautiful the campus is and those compliments are a direct result of the hard work Andy Perkins and his staff does every day.”

Fullwood says the chancellor’s engagement has boosted the morale of a group of employees who already perform at a high level.

“They do an extremely good job. I have worked all over the world and this is the cleanest campus I have ever worked on,” she said. “Come 9 a.m. on a Monday morning, you would be hard pressed to find even a small piece of trash on this campus. They are really committed to their jobs.”

Senior, civil engineering major Ryan Yeargin was totally unaware that he walked right by the chancellor cutting grass outside of the Campus Recreation Center until Lawson pointed it out. Once he realized who Martin was, Yeargin was impressed.

“This is great. It shows that he is aware of all the work that goes on to keep A&T beautiful,” Yeargin said. “It also shows that the cares about the people who work under him – not just the people who work directly under him – everyone.”