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Tobe Rose

Toby Rose

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Rose’s team keeps all of campus—including the roses—beautiful and pristine

Jun 11, 2020

Toby Rose promises University of the Pacific students, faculty and staff will return to a beautiful and clean Stockton Campus.

While the past few months have been unusual and challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they did afford the opportunity to do detailed landscape work and intensive cleaning on campus grounds and facilities.

Rose, senior superintendent in charge of grounds and custodial work, celebrated his 20th year with Pacific on April 4. He shared thoughts on a campus that should be active soon.

The last name … Rose. We have to ask about it.
Rose:
I do not have a patent on the name. However, it is unusual being in charge of the campus roses while having that name. In 2013, The (Stockton) Record wrote a story about me and used the phrase “A Rose by any other name.” Channel 3, on the other hand, talked to me for a story about a month ago and did not even mention the play on words with my name. I kind of wondered “why not?”

How many rose plants or bushes are there on campus?
Rose:
I once knew that number exactly. I would estimate between 1,800 and 2,000, not counting the carpet roses.

Rose garden

What mistakes do home gardeners make with their rose gardens or rose bushes?
Rose
: Many people water far too often. Roses really need a good soaking only once per week. It also is essential to deadhead and prune correctly. Learning those skills would be a big help.

Gardens, trees and other plant life have been a hallmark of Pacific’s campus. For those who have been away, describe what they will see when they return.
Rose:
They are going to see a beautiful, manicured campus. The weather has been relatively mild this year, which helps. Campus really looks quite beautiful.

Is your team’s job easier or harder when campus is largely empty?
Rose:
This has been very unusual, but it does afford us opportunities. We have done deep, detailed cleaning in buildings across campus. From a custodial standpoint, we were able to give attention to places where it was needed … We also caught up on tree trimming. Those things are easier to do when the campus is empty.

Describe the traits that make your team special.
Rose:
They are very hard workers who care deeply. We take a lot of pride in the beauty and cleanliness of Pacific. We are at about 65 people right now, and that is down by about 13 from when we were at our peak. We were able to pull people off the events staff to help the past few months.

Were there any major projects completed with the campus largely closed?
Rose:
We are very close to 100%—I would say about 99%—with the campus able to use non-potable water from the Calaveras River. It is rewarding to get that done, and it will cut expenses.

How does social distancing affect landscaping and custodial work?
Rose:
From the beginning, we practiced social distancing in all areas of the Physical Plant. Many of our staff members work independently, so it was easier to follow those guidelines. But we do have people studying how we will do our work in the fall with campus much busier.

Tell us about your family.
Rose:
I am married (Bryanna) and we have a daughter (Savannah). I followed in my father’s footsteps. He owned a garden service in the Bay Area. Shirley Temple Black was one of his clients.

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