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Tree Planting Ceremony

"Too old to plant trees for my own gratification, I shall do it for my posterity." -Thomas Jefferson

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Each year, the University plants a tree on Founder's Day to remember Thomas Jefferson and to celebrate an individual who has made a significant contribution to U.Va.

This year's honoree Jay Klingel, retired on Friday, March 21, after a 35-year career in Facilities Management, including 10 years as director of operations and maintenance.

The ceremony will take place on Friday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. on the west side of the Lawn between Pavilions III and V, where a "Legacy" sugar maple (Acer saccharum 'Legacy') will be planted. The event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available in the Culbreth Road Parking Garage.

As director of operations and maintenance, Klingel supervised more than 700 people engaged in building maintenance, landscape, custodial operations and renovations services. Although some renovations are contracted out, the staff of roughly 150 people in Klingel’s renovations group does about $25 million of work a year.

Klingel has overseen a number of notable projects around Grounds, including the restorations of multiple pavilions in the Academical Village and the speedy removal and replacement of the McCormick Road Bridge in two months last summer.

“He is dependable and he cares about the University. He is the go-to guy and when something is happening, he is there. He has 700 people under him, but he is on hand for everything, for every event, for the storms, such as the derecho, and the emergencies. He is solid as a rock," Chief Facilities Officer Donald Sundgren said.

“His only agenda is what is right for the University,” Sundgren said. “We are losing a tremendous asset.”

Klingel started his Facilities Management career in 1979, and worked on renovations for about 10 years before moving to the department’s business management group, where he managed financial operations, information systems, procurement and work management groups until being promoted to director of operations and maintenance.
Klingel holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Tech.

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View archives of previous Tree Planting honorees here.