Bird continues leadership role with university
By Julie Kane
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 26 - April 2, 1998
Daniel W. "Danny" Bird Jr. has had a long, memorable relationship with the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and the university.
For his years of service to the university, Bird has been chosen to receive the 1998 Alumni Distinguished Service Award.
A native of Bland County, he graduated from Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1960 with a degree in dairy science. While at Tech, he demonstrated leadership, serving as regimental commander of the Corps of Cadets and as president of his class.
Bird later attended Washington and Lee University, where he received his law degree in 1965. He was a partner in the law firm of Bird and Slavin in Wytheville for 26 years. He was elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 1976 and served 16 years as senator for a district of six southwest-Virginia counties. In January 1992, he was appointed General District Court judge for the 27th Judicial Circuit covering 10 southwest-Virginia jurisdictions, which he continues to serve today.
Although he has always had a very busy schedule, Bird served on the Board of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association for a total of 19 years. During that time, he was on a number of committees, including Finance, Nominating, Government Relations, and the Military Committee.
In January, 1991, he was elected first vice president of the association. After serving a two-year term, he became president elect in January, 1992. In 1993, he was chosen to serve as president of the association for a one-year term.
According to Thomas Tillar Jr., vice president for alumni relations, "Early on, Danny Bird showed a strong charismatic personality and political acumen. He was always a good motivator and organizer. He is widely respected by politicians across the state and is an asset to the university," Tillar said.
Bird continues to cut a high profile at Virginia Tech. Each year he attends events in the College of Agriculture and is often seen at Virginia Tech athletic events.
"I credit Virginia Tech for my success," Bird said. "The president and his staff have been wonderful over the years. Virginia Tech is special in the hearts of many all over the world."
According to Virginia Tech President Paul Torgersen, "Danny Bird's service to his alma mater and to Virginia epitomizes our mission as a land-grant university. For his long association with Virginia Tech and his service to the alumni association, Danny Bird richly deserves to be recognized as a 1998 recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Service Award."