While the world works from home, Hernane “Andy” Moutinho makes his way to his office on the Babson campus—typically arriving by 6 a.m. and often staying until 4 p.m.
The senior director of operations in the Facilities Management and Planning Department has been on campus every weekday since the pandemic hit.
“I feel a sense that as a senior manager, and the knowledge that I have of our campus and our community, that I need to be here,” Moutinho said, “not just to support our staff, but to support the campus.”
It’s the kind of commitment that Moutinho has made to the Babson campus for nearly 20 years in a variety of roles. It’s a devotion that sets an example for the entire Facilities staff, which does the vital work that keeps Babson running, especially during unprecedented circumstances.
No matter the circumstances, though, Moutinho’s focus rarely strays far from the students.
“While everybody was impacted,” he said of the pandemic, “I think that the most heartfelt, sad story is how our students really had to basically shut down and leave campus on such a quick notice, especially the seniors who had just seen their world turned upside down.”
Note of Gratitude
When the students scrambled to pack up and move off campus, Moutinho and his staff quickly mobilized to lend their support, clean the campus, and ensure the environment is as safe as possible.
Their work, while behind the scenes, rarely goes unnoticed or unappreciated. Shortly after the students left campus, Moutinho received an email from one of them thanking him, saying she and her friends felt guilty and wanted to apologize for the haphazard state they left their living space.
Moutinho also was one of a number of staff members who received handwritten thank you notes from students, thanks to the Campus Activities Board (CAB). His note arrived from Jacqueline Cornelison ’23 in California:
“Thank you for all of your hard work at Babson. People like you are who help make Babson one of the best places to be for me and many others. During this time, words cannot describe how much your hard work and dedication are appreciated by students like me.”
Moutinho, who prefers being out of the spotlight, expresses his appreciation but deflects the credit to the Facilities team.
“That was really nice to hear,” he said. “But, I’ve always found that a good part of my success is based on my staff and my co-workers. I might be able to give them the tools and the training and guidance, but they’re the ones out on the frontlines. They’re doing the job. At the end of the day, their work is the reflection of the success that we have here.”
The Facilities team’s work continues as it prepares the campus for students to return this fall. From his office on campus, Moutinho is planning for every contingency, making sure the College has necessary supplies, and putting enhanced cleaning protocols in place.
“I think we have a family-like community, and if we’re going to be successful, this is not going to be dependent on any one particular department,” Moutinho said. “From all of my years that I’ve been here, we have a great community, and there’s no doubt that in times like this, they know how to come together, and I feel good about that.”
Moutinho also feels good about the role he and his team are carrying out during this critical and uncertain period.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re going through this,” he said, “but I still feel that I’m fortunate enough that I still can get up in the morning and have a place to go to and feel that there’s a purpose, and what I’m doing is going to help, and it’s contributing to our success.”