John Hulvey #1

John Hulvey, Director, Grants and Contracts

John Hulvey's experience in learning about the fire was different than the rest of his colleagues. Instead of sleeping peacefully at home, Hulvey was at a hunting camp with no phone, pager or cell phone service on the night of the fire. Towana Moore called Hulvey's wife at around 1 a.m., and since she had to be up at 4 a.m. to catch a flight and thought he should know about the fire, she drove 25 miles, crossed three streams, unlocked and opened a gate, and knocked on the door of a cabin full of sleeping men with guns!

When Hulvey saw his wife standing at the door in her nightgown, he remembers thinking, "this can't be good, but since she's not crying, it could be worse." Upon hearing the news, he packed up at 2:30 a.m. and drove home - nearly hitting a deer on the way - and watched the news until getting ready to go check out the office.

By 7 a.m., he was on campus and had to attend a planning meeting in the University Services Building before he could venture into the mess. He recalls that "it was the first time I had worn blue jeans to work, and I felt woefully underdressed in the planning meeting. But I was perfectly dressed for the rest of the day, feeling sorry for those in 'business attire.'"

When he went into the remains of the building, Hulvey realized that he had lost some things - nothing irreplaceable, but some things did have sentimental and monetary value to him, such as family and wedding pictures, a framed Star Trek blueprint and two Star Trek hallmark ornaments, and also a Bridgewater College Golf Umbrella.

By Wednesday afternoon, Hulvey's office was relocated to the Patterson Street Modular Building, and they were operational. He says that his department was "very lucky, as [we] lost very little, and it was not crunch time for us." He recalls that their customers were very understanding and supportive in letting them get re-established, and the Office of Sponsored Programs was "extremely helpful" in replacing the documentation that they did lose and providing help to copy wet and dirty files.

Although through horrible circumstances, the fire did remind Hulvey of how much he likes working at JMU. He says, "The people here are the best. My staff [Brenda Wilburn and Donna Crumpton] was great no whining about the mess or what was lost, just working to make it better and make us operational again. Facilities did a great job in helping us pull our files from the mess. The computer/networking and telecom folks were outstanding in supplying us with new phones and computers, and the displaced procurement folks were working with us the next day to replace printers and copiers."

He also found it amusing that when he returned to work and told his colleagues how he heard about the fire, several people commented, "aren't you glad you were at the camp when your wife got there?" He's not sure if that is a comment on him, society or hunting season at a deer camp, "but it had not occurred to me prior to coming to work. Yes I was glad, but I don't know where else I would have been!"

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