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Founders Day kicks off 125th Anniversary Celebration

By David Nutter

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 23 - March 13, 1997

Founders Day, Virginia Tech's annual celebration of the academic and professional achievements of its faculty, students, and staff, will be held in Burruss auditorium on Friday, April 4, beginning at 3:15 p.m. Adding further significance to this year's convocation is that it marks the beginning of the university's 125th Anniversary Celebration: 1872-1997.

"For 125 years, Virginia Tech has served the people of Virginia and indeed the world," said Larry Hincker, associate vice president for University Relations and co-chair of the Anniversary Committee. "It is only fitting that we begin the celebration of our 125th year at Founders Day."

As part of this year's Founders Day ceremony, the university will award the William H. Ruffner Medal to Clifton C. Garvin Jr., the immediate past rector of the Board of Visitors. Garvin, Class of 1943, is the retired chairman and CEO of Exxon Corporation.

Throughout the year the anniversary committee is sponsoring a series of distinguished alumni lectures. The first, on Tuesday, April 15, will feature an address by Virginia Tech alumnus and Nobel Prize winner Robert C. Richardson. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in Squires Colonial Hall.

Winners of this year's awards are: Alumni Award for Excellence in Research: Christopher R. Fuller, Department of Mechanical Engineering; and Joseph A. Ball, Department of Mathematics. Alumni Award for Excellence in International Programs: John S. Caldwell, Department of Horticulture. Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension: Michael J. Clifford, Nottoway County Extension Office; and Bruce W. Zoecklein, Department of Food Science and Technology. Wine Award: Spencer A. Johnston, Department of Small Animal Clinical Services; Y.A. Liu, Department of Chemical Engineering; and John R. Seiler, Department of Forestry. Sporn Award for Teaching Introductory Subjects: Cosby S. Rogers, Department of Family and Child Development. Sporn Award for Teaching Engineering Subjects: Subhash C. Sarin, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Alumni Teaching Excellence Awards: Joseph S. Merola, Department of Chemistry; and Eileen T. Shugart, Department of Mathematics. Alumni Excellence in Academic Advising: L. Leon Geyer, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. University Public Service Excellence Award: Dee Whittier, Department of Large Animal Clinical Services. President's Awards for Excellence: Sandy Crigger, Department of Management; Debra A. Falls, Office of the Dean of Students; John F. Moore, Department of Educational Technologies; Sybil B. Phoenix, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences; and Charles P. Shorter, College of Agriculture. Graduate Teaching Assistant Excellence Award: Lesa L. Beverly. Graduate Student Service Award: Alicia L. Hogbin. Man of the Year: Robert M. Ballenger, Department of Communication Studies. Women of the Year: Robyn H. Moore, Department of Art and Art History. Alumni Distinguished Service Awards: Mace T. Coleman, College of Business; and William W. Mosely, College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

The outstanding student winners are: Rebecca J. Cutright, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Diane B. Miller, College of Architecture and Urban Studies; Bryan Lee McDonald, College of Arts and Sciences; Charles P. Koerber, Pamplin College of Business; John B. Kronebusch, College of Engineering; Nicole Robitaille, College of Forestry and Wildlife; Michelle R. Smith, College of Human Resources and Education; and Rebecca D. Rose, College of Veterinary Medicine.