Developments at Virginia Tech

The official Tumblr of Virginia Tech's Office of University Development, located at the Gateway Center on the corner of University City Blvd., and Prices Fork Rd., in Blacksburg, Va.

This website is maintained by the Development Communications team headed by Albert Raboteau, Gary Cope, Rich Polikoff, and Erica Stacy.

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Posts tagged "Philanthropy"

Dwight D. Viehland, professor of materials science and engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was recently named the Jack E. Cowling Professor of Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Jack E. Cowling Endowed Professorship was established as part of the bequest by the late John E. “Jack” Cowling who graduated from Virginia Tech in 1939 with a chemical engineering degree. The professorship recognizes faculty excellence and recipients hold the professorship for a period of five years.

Click on the photo above to read more.

Congratulations to Hesham A. Rakha, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech and director of the Center for Sustainable Mobility at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. He was recently named the Samuel Reynolds Pritchard Professor of Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Samuel Reynolds Pritchard Professorship was established by the late Walter A. Buchanan Sr. in 1992 in honor of Prichard, who served as the dean of the College of Engineering from 1918 to 1928. The professorship recognizes excellence in engineering research.

Click on the photo above to read more.

One of the most frequently asked questions young alumni ask is “Why should I give back to my alma mater?”

While there are many answers to this question, Hank Coleman, a financial planner and publisher of the popular personal finance blog Money Q&A, identifies some key reasons why giving back is not only a good idea, but also a good investment.

"[Giving back] helps increase the stature of the college, making it a better place. Our giving back also affects how employers, grad schools and others see our alma maters."

Click on the photo above to read the entire article.

Matt Pucci was reluctant to come to Virginia Tech. Forget about attending, Pucci wasn’t particularly interested in even visiting the campus. His family was on the way from their hometown of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., to see relatives in North Carolina when Pucci’s dad said they should stop in Blacksburg, as it was on the way. He wanted to see Virginia Tech’s campus far more than his son did.

That changed when they arrived.

"The second I stepped out of the car, I knew I was going to be here," Pucci said. "I don’t know how to explain it otherwise. It was a deep-down feeling. The opportunities on campus, and the campus itself, were so amazing."

One of nine scholarships endowed by Virginia Tech alumni Ed Norwood has helped Pucci to attend the university as a member of the Corps of Cadets.

Click on the photo above to read more about Pucci.

Thanks to a scholarship at Virginia Tech, Stephanie Wiltman, a senior studying psychology and materials science and engineering, was able to gain valuable experience in her field of interest.

The Pittsburg native spent the first six weeks of summer 2012 working with the Wounded Warrior Project at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., as a result of being awarded the Patricia C. Perna Scholarship.

The scholarship, which is given to an honors student interested in medical occupations, allows its recipient to plan an experience to explore and research issues associated with healthcare treatment and equipment.

Click on the photo above to learn more about Wiltman’s experience.

Bernice Hausman named Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities

Bernice Hausman, professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, was recently named Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Edward S. Diggs Professorship in Humanities recognizes and promotes excellence in research and teaching in the humanities. It was created through an estate gift by Hattie Wilson Diggs in memory of her husband, who earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in from Virginia Tech in 1914. Recipients hold the position for a five-year term.

Since 2010, Hausman has been teaching courses for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, the building in the image above, where she is a professor in the Department of Interprofessionalism.

Click on the photo above to read more.

Jennifer Barrett named Theodora Ayer Randolph Professor of Equine Surgery

Jennifer Barrett, associate professor of equine surgery in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, was recently named Theodora Ayer Randolph Professor of Equine Surgery by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Theodora Ayer Randolph Professorship of Equine Surgery was established by its namesake to attract and retain eminent scholars to the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center. The recipient will hold the position for a period of three years.

Click on the photo above to read more.

The fall 2013 issue of Impact Magazine is now available online. In this issue:

  • find out how an alumna’s career and gifts to Virginia Tech have inspired students to succeed
  • learn more about the 2013 recipient of the William H. Ruffner Medal, Virginia Tech’s highest honor
  • see how one theatre arts alumnus is giving back behind the scenes
  • get an update on the renovations and expansion of Virginia Tech’s Center for European Studies and Architecture
  • discover how Virginia Tech is building a modern library with the help of an alumnus and his wife

You can find this issue as well as past issues on our website. If you have an idea for a story, please let us know! Visit our contact us form and submit your story idea!

Virginia Tech’s Marching Virginians are getting new home. The marching band’s new facilities will include a roughly 4,300-square-foot building for instrument storage and percussion practice, and an attached, 3,500-square-foot pavilion that will provide covered space for the full band to practice, rain or shine. The project also includes a lighted practice field.

"Most of the donations have come from Marching Virginians alumni, who recognize that they had a unique experience during their time with the band and are really devoted to ensuring that future members have an even better experience than they had," said Dave McKee, who directs the Marching Virginians in addition to being a senior instructor in the School of Performing Arts.

Funding for the project is a partnership, with a significant portion coming from the Department of Athletics. Recreational Sports is contributing as well, and construction is also being funded by donations raised by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Click here to learn more.

Coal mining has long been an important part of the Appalachian economy, and while efforts to find sustainable energy sources are ongoing, coal continues to be a major source of energy and jobs.

Regulatory concerns over the environmental impact of mining are leading researchers to develop new technologies to help mining companies minimize their impact on the environment, restore ecosystem processes on reclaimed mine sites, and still retain economic viability.

With help from a Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation Grant, Virginia Tech researchers are testing a technology called electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) that has the potential to visualize near-surface hydrology and allow better-designed mining operations to manage water flows and quality.

"Electrical resistivity imaging will allow us to see inside the valley fills created by surface coal mining in a brand new way," said Erich Hester, assistant professor of civil and environmental Engineering within the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. "This will allow us to better understand how water moves through the ground during storms and how it interacts with pollution-generating spoil rock."

Near-surface hydrology is the study of rainwater flow over, into, and through near-surface soil and geological materials. It is used to analyze the environmental impact of surface coal mining, which releases natural mineral constituents that have a negative impact on water resources and can increase the possibility of flooding in nearby streams.

These concerns can be addressed if mine reclamation practices can restore near-surface hydrology as closely as possible to pre-mining conditions.

The problem, however, is that restoring mining sites is often made difficult because water flowing beneath the surface is difficult to see or measure. ERI aims to change that. The technology sends brief electrical pulses into the ground, measures pulse transmissions to other locations, and creates maps of the electrical resistivity of soils and other geological materials. These maps can be used to determine water flow paths in multiple dimensions.

"This knowledge should eventually allow future mining operations to adjust fill placement techniques to reduce pollutant loading to streams, thereby helping restore the health of downstream aquatic ecosystems," said Hester, who is leading the research project along with Carl Zipper, a Virginia Tech professor of crop and soil environmental science within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

In a recent release, Dee O’Donnell, regional president for western Virginia at Wells Fargo, explained why funding this particular research was appealing to her company:

"I am thrilled that Wells Fargo is able to support a project such as this one," she said. "The ERI technology that this grant supports could help reduce the environmental impacts, resulting in improved resources for the community, reduced treatment costs, and job creation, if the technology evolves and is widely adopted – which I have full confidence that it will be."