Matthew Gart, a retired landscape architect at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2017 Staff Career Achievement Award.

Gart retired from the university in 2016 after 29 years of service.

Created in 2011 to recognize retiring 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 worked a minimum of 10 years at Virginia Tech. Each recipient is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

In his decades of service at Virginia Tech, Gart had a key leadership role in nearly every landscaping project for the university. His contributions are commended by colleagues for enhancing the beauty of the university.

Gart’s commitment to sustainability and native plants made Virginia Tech one of the most sustainability-friendly campuses in the country. Virginia Tech is consistently listed as one of the most beautiful public university campuses in the United States.

Gart worked on the ongoing project for the Southgate 460 interchange, the design of the Hokie Stone entry walls at the corner of Prices Fork Road and West Campus Drive, and the stone pre-cast signs at the Inn at Virginia Tech. He turned the parking lot between Norris and Randolph halls into a usable green space enjoyed by members of the Virginia Tech community.

Following the April 16 tragedy, Gart was a member of the committee that designed the April 16 Memorial on the Drillfield. He worked steadfastly to encapsulate the spirit of the spontaneous installation students had erected and to honor the lives of those lost.

“Matt is a dedicated and energetic professional who cared deeply about the quality of our campus. Matt always went above and beyond what is expected by coordinating with all the stakeholders involved in projects, taking everyone’s comments and concerns into account to improve the final project.” wrote Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administration, in a letter of nomination.

Gart was an active participant with the Campus Arboretum Committee and the Drillfield Paths Committee, and he frequently contributed to the Energy and Sustainability Committee.