Mary D. Hunter of New Castle, Virginia, retired fiscal director for the Charles E. Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, received the university’s 2015 Staff Career Achievement Award.

Hunter retired from her position in 2014 after 35 years of service, the past 17 years with the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring Virginia Tech staff members, the Staff Career Achievement Award is presented annually to as many as five individuals who have distinguished themselves through exemplary performance and service during their university careers. Nominees must have served a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

“Mary has selflessly volunteered her time, talent, and expertise on a number of different projects,” Ed Nelson, associate dean for administration and chief of staff for the College of Engineering, wrote in support her nomination. “Her impact and lasting contributions span a wide breadth of administrative functions.”

Hunter has been involved in many projects, including grant and contract administration, purchasing, and the management of funding faculty salaries from various sources during the academic year and summer. She invested a great deal of time developing a departmental financial system called DEPART that helps units manage and reconcile their funds. This system has been adopted by many departments across the university.

“Mary is an invaluable resource and an asset to all Virginia Tech departments, not just her own,” Matt Swift, director of research data systems in the Office of the Vice President for Research, wrote in support of her nomination. “She has had a huge impact on how policy changes or software projects affected the department administrators. She is the go-to person for getting the user perspective on a design committee.”

“Time and time again, Mary has stepped up and provided leadership to initiatives to improve campus systems and processes, including implementation of the Banner and Depart systems, and helping to test numerous enhancements and reports since,” noted John Rudd, associate vice president for sponsored programs. “She does this willingly and cheerfully, all while maintaining a model campus business operation.”

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.