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Committee of 100's support requested

By Lynn Nystrom

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 11 - November 2, 1995

At the fall meeting of the College of Engineering's Committee of 100, Hyde Tucker, chair of the Campaign Council, requested that all members of the group pledge their support to the college's campaign goal of raising $50 million. Tucker's words were echoed by Mary Virginia Jones, chair of the Advisory Council to the college.

Tucker is the retired president of Bell Atlantic International and Jones is the director of support engineering, Atlantic Research Corp. The university's campaign was officially begun in September. A goal of $250 million has been established for the total university. Contributions to the College of Engineering's goal of $50 million have already passed the 60-percent mark.

The Committee of 100 was established in the early 1980s. The membership of the committee is limited to alumni whose contributions to the engineering profession, the practicing field, the college, or society-at-large have brought distinction to themselves and to the college. Widely regarded and respected, the Committee of 100, comprised mostly of top-level management and entrepreneurs, is an active advocate of the college.

During the committee's two days on campus, a subcommittee also met to discuss how they might be able to help the college with its recruiting efforts. Assistant Dean Pamela Kurstedt met with these alumni for a training session on the types of questions perspective students and their parents might ask. These alumni will become active in their local areas in the recruitment of qualified freshmen to the engineering program.

The Committee of 100 also heard presentations by faculty members Charles Reinholtz and Ron Kriz. Reinholtz discussed the involvement of more than 200 of his undergraduate students in industrial projects during the past few years, and Kriz illustrated how virtual reality was used to support research projects throughout the college and university.

During a brief ceremony, Preston Wade, one of the original members of the Committee of 100, received the college's Distinguished Service Award for numerous contributions to his alma mater. Wade, chairman and chief executive officer of Wiley and Wilson Inc., is a 1955 civil engineering graduate.

Some of his previous awards include the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers (VSPE) Distinguished Service Award in 1971 and again in 1980, selection as the Central Virginia "Engineer of the Year" in 1977, and the 1982 VSPE's "Engineer of the Year" Award. At Virginia Tech, he has served as a member of the College of Engineering's Advisory Board for six years, and as a director on the Alumni Association Board. He was a member of Virginia Tech's Major Gifts, Foundation, and President's Council Membership Committees. He is a member of Virginia Tech's Ut Prosim Society.

"The support of our alumni is critical to the overall success of our College of Engineering," said F.W. Stephenson, dean of the college. "We were pleased that so many of our alumni were able to return for the 1995 meeting, and that they were willing to take such an active role in helping the college. They discussed a number of issues, such as faculty salaries, space, recruitment and retention of students, and support from the university community."