It Starts with a Spark for Facilities Management, Chris Moore
“We may not be out in the light, but you’ll definitely know when the light bulb’s out.” Western Carolina University’s own fire marshal, safety professional and alumnus Chris Moore, succinctly noted this when discussing the Facilities Management team’s impact. The support and effect go far beyond the lights as the team labors to keep the power running, heat and water flowing, the campus safe for all during the pandemic and ‘normal’ times, as well as maintaining the vibrancy of colors throughout the grounds. Moore, who graduated from WCU in 2001, notes the effort to keep this “micropolitan” functioning takes “all the cogs” and goes from “top to bottom to get all projects done for others.”
From Moore’s experiences working with the U.S. Forest Service, WCU, and being a father (this last job being his favorite of them all), his words continually echo respect, appreciation, and faith in the good of others. “The work is bigger than me,” he said. Supplying a safe and functioning environment for all those on campus affords others peace of mind to focus on education and work as a priority. The addition of providing current Catamounts the opportunity to know they have Catamount alumni looking out for them on campus stokes that purple and gold pride.
The duties noted earlier are only a portion of the work and support that this primarily behind-the-scenes team provides for their WCU families. Through the generous leadership of four individuals, Moore among them, and the backing of fellow team members across campus, the WCU Facilities Management Scholarship was created in 2019 and is on a trajectory for endowed status, and awarded each year in perpetuity. After the first full year of staff and faculty support, this scholarship, which provides funding for dependents, has exceeded initial expectations entirely due to a team effort.
Moore notes the importance of what every dollar means when tasked with sharing how he’d use hypothetical funds if given to donate. When asked about how he would use $50, Moore mindfully shared that every cent would go to areas like the Facilities Management Scholarship, some to his faith, some to senior care, and an overall focus on needs to help fellow people. He would discuss with his family in the philanthropic conversation as “it would be paid forward to a need the family feels is best for the community, whether WCU or the greater community,” he said. Teaching his children how to give, pay it forward, and learn the lesson of “money well spent to help people” speaks to the pure heart and intentions Moore hosts.
“I felt I needed to light a fire into you” is the statement an educator once told Moore for that little extra push of potential he saw in him. This statement adds some irony to Moore’s work in fire safety. As for the bit of inspiration, Moore shared that having a giver’s heart at the end of the day is principal when asked why one should give. “If we don’t have a giver's heart, how are we ever moving forward? You may not know what you get back in return but know you can help in a way that may benefit others," Moore said. “Can you look within your family or extended family to how college led to their success?” He suggested that all take a moment and “look at what culminates to making Western a great place. Stop and have a suppertime conversation” to think about ways to give through real-life experiences and sense that connection.
At this point of the conversation, Moore received a call over the radio to help others on campus and continue that critical behind the scenes work. Before going, he paused to say thank you for the time, conversation, and to reach out if there was anything else that he can help with as needed. Even when going to help one situation, Moore took a second to aid in another. Such effort is the heart and generosity that Moore layers into everything he touches and hopes for others to do as well. Moore shared, “No matter how much motor one would have under the hood, if you don’t have the spark … you would be out of luck.”
Recognizing WCU Faculty and Staff donors at all levels, the Shetland Society celebrates the employees who work hard for WCU and the University’s role to support our student body and the greater community.
You can join Chris Moore and other faculty and staff donors in the 2020-2021 Shetland Society by visiting give.wcu.edu/shetland
We hope you'll join us for the Faculty and Staff breakfast drive-through as a part of I Love WCU Month on Wednesday, February 24 from 8am – 10:30am in the Big Cat Lot.