November 29, 2020

David Stone, director of facilities planning and management, resigns after 15 years at Webster

In his final weeks at Webster University, David Stone updated his portfolio to show potential employers. It listed his completed projects — 15 years at Webster compressed into one document.

Stone, 50, confirmed to The Journal his resignation as director of facilities planning and management.

Stone said he plans to be out of his office after Wednesday, Aug. 31. He said his resignation is in the best interest of himself, his family and Webster.

“I’m very proud of the work I’ve done here,” Stone said. “I hope when people look back at my fifteen years here they’ll realize making decisions in the best interest of the university has been consistently what I’ve tried to do.”

Greg Gunderson, the university’s vice president and CFO, said a temporary or permanent replacement would be finalized by this Thursday, Sept. 1.

Although Stone is leaving at a time when the new academic building is still underway, he said all the major decisions are finalized, so he won’t be abandoning the project. Stone also assured those working on the new academic building he’ll still be around for assistance if needed.

“I’m still going to have a cell phone so if a question comes up and they need help, I’ll answer the phone,” Stone said. “I’ve never started projects I didn’t finish.”

When the School of Business and Technology moves into the new academic building, the Sverdup Building will undergo renovations to become the School of Communications building. Steve Strang, project manager, said Stone’s resignation is not going to affect the Sverdrup renovation because it is included in the new master plan.

Stone’s Webster projects include the Garden Park Plaza, additions to the Loretto-Hilton, the residence halls and apartment complexes. In the beginning stages of all his projects, Stone observes the lives of the people using the buildings. While working on the parking garage, Stone observed commuters.

“I was sitting and watching people circling, looking for parking while stuffing down their McDonald’s because that’s all they had time to grab on the way,” Stone said. “It made me sit back and think we have to do something to lessen the stress.”

The Emerson Library, the  project Stone said he is most proud of, was the first out-of-ground building constructed since the University Center, which was completed 15 years before. The challenge was to construct the library on two levels due to the hillside and allowing 24-hour access while maintaining a traditional library.

For Stone, the Emerson Library was not only about designing a new campus landmark, but creating a hub for student activity.

“I think buildings can do a lot of things, but Webster University isn’t about having great architecture,” Stone said. “It’s about having spaces where people can learn and teach and we can grow people.”

Along with building transformations in Stone’s time at Webster, he also had the opportunity to watch his twin daughters grow as individuals on campus.

In a post from 2009 titled, “Transformations” on My Webster Story (mystory.webster.edu), Stone wrote about the changes he’s witnessed at Webster.

“I have had the unique opportunity to watch Webster transform my daughters from curious freshman to world-traveling and culturally aware young women,” wrote Stone.

During his interview process for his position 15 years ago, Stone was told Webster is like one big family. Although he was initially skeptical, Stone said he had a sense of family from his first week as a Webster employee.

Stone and former Vice President Karen Luebbert were arriving back from lunch when they saw an ambulance parked in front of Loretto Hall. They soon discovered a maintenance worker had a serious fall in the lobby. Luebbert told Stone the worker wasn’t riding alone to the hospital. So, she handed Stone her keys and rode along in the ambulance.

“That really hit me ­— that yeah, this is a family,” Stone said. “That’s the kind of place this still is.”

Although Stone’s future is unclear, he said he would ideally like to work on a college campus again. He said some doors are opening for him and feels certain one will be the right job for him.

Share this post

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail