Virginia Tech Magazine

Volume 17, Number 3
Spring 1995


Russell retires after nearly four decades with Virginia Tech

by Netta S. Eisler

When George E. "Buddy" Russell (AG '52) retired in March after 39 years' association with Virginia Tech, most recently as vice president for alumni relations, what he expected to miss most were the people he had worked with over the years. Both staff members and alumni will miss his ready smile, enthusiasm, motivation of staff and alumni, and his well-considered agenda for alumni programs. John W. Bates (EE '35) of Richmond, a former president of the alumni association who has served continuously on the alumni board since 1948, says Russell always had a plan or a program to "aim things in the right direction." Bates characterizes as "superb" everything from Russell's program planning to his work motivating alumni for special causes to his building esprit de corps among staff and volunteers. Bonnie Albert, Russell's secretary of 29 years, praises his ability to make everyone feel needed and to treat each person--from the housekeeper to the highest level administrator--with the same respect. "It was a pleasure coming to work every day knowing he would be there," she says. Former President William Lavery, who calls Russell's work with people "fantastic," says he did a tremendous job in serving both the university and the alumni during difficult years of growth and change beginning in the late '60s. He especially praises him for helping alumni to remain closely connected to the university. Director of Alumni Relations Tom Tillar credits Russell with building "one of the finest alumni programs in the country," with an emphasis on strong chapter networks and events that have drawn alumni back to campus. "He has provided continuity for alumni through four presidential administrations," Tillar said. He describes Russell as a flexible administrator who encouraged staff creativity. Russell began work in Virginia Tech Extension in 1956 as an assistant county agent and became Extension program leader in 1964. In 1968, he became director of alumni affairs. He later served as executive director and as executive vice president of the alumni association before becoming vice president for alumni relations in 1991. Russell and his wife Frances plan to remain in Blacksburg, where he hopes to "reflect on what we've been doing in the alumni association," possibly as a written history.

Summer Around the Drillfield

Summer Around the Drillfield, the alumni association's sixth annual summer vacation on campus for alumni and their families, is scheduled for June 28 to July 2. The registration fee of $200 per adult or $180 per child accompanying an adult includes meals and lodging. For more information, write to the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, Alumni Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 or call (703) 231-6285.

Alumni association names Outstanding Young Alumni

Nancy Glisson (COMM '93), who has been selected Outstanding Young Alumna by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, was Miss Virginia 1993 and fourth runner-up in the Miss America Pageant. Throughout her reign, she was an advocate for the needs of the elderly. As an undergraduate, she served as vice president of ODK, president of Women in Communications, and codirector of Senior Challenge. She volunteered at the university's adult day care center and was a liaison for Virginia Cooperative Extension Service for adult daycare research. In 1992, she interned at Ketchum Public Relations in New York City. Glisson still remains very much in the public eye, having performed in more than 400 productions at Opryland USA and continuing her role as an advocate for adult daycare programs. Glisson is a creative marketing assistant at Ty Boyd Enterprises in Charlotte, N.C., and provides consulting and wardrobe services for Miss America contestants through her company, New Concepts. She was recently appointed to the Virginia 4-H Board of Trustees. Guy Levy (BIO '84), selected Outstanding Young Alumnus, is the fourth Newport News Levy in three generations to attend Virginia Tech. He also has a degree in dentistry from Georgetown University and a master's degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia. He currently practices dentistry with his father, Mayer Levy (BIO '55), in Newport News. Guy Levy is president of the Peninsula Chapter of the Alumni Association. As an undergraduate he was active in cross country, Hillel Student Union, and Pi Kappa Alpha. At Georgetown University, he served as president of dental fraternity Alpha Omega and was involved in several research projects.

Levy is active in the Peninsula Dental Society, Virginia Dental Association, American Dental Association, and Academy of General Dentistry. He is dental staff coordinator for the Mary Immaculate Hospital. He has been president of the Denbigh Jaycees and is vice president of Concerned Denbigh Citizens, on the board of the York Chapter of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a member of the Newport News Waterfront Parks Task Force, and chairman of the Newport News Business Recycling Commission. He is on the People-to-People Health Task Force and serves in leadership positions at Temple Sinai and in the United Jewish Community. He and his wife Robin live in Newport News.

Old Guard Reunion set

The Old Guard will reunite May 25-26. All Virginia Tech alumni who graduated 50 years or more ago (Class of 1944 or earlier) are members of the Old Guard and are welcome to attend. The traditional banquet will be held on Thursday evening. The annual business meeting and university updates are slated for Friday. Reunion registration information has been mailed. Additional information is available from the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, Alumni Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061; phone (703) 231-6285; 24-hour fax (703) 231-3039.

Fall reunion schedule

September 7-8
Tech vs. Boston College
Class of '50 at Blacksburg Marriott College of Veterinary Medicine (Sept. 8 & 9)
September 15-16
Tech vs. Cincinnati
Class of '65 at Blacksburg Marriott Class of '85 at Donaldson Brown Hotel
September 22-23
Tech vs. Miami
Class of '60 at Donaldson Brown Hotel Class of '75 at Blacksburg Marriott
October 13-14
Tech vs. Akron
Class of '45 at Donaldson Brown Hotel Class of '70 at Blacksburg Marriott Class of '90 at Hampton Inn Class of '95 (Friday evening)
November 3-4
Tech vs. Syracuse
Class of '55 at Donaldson Brown Hotel

Brochures with reunion registration materials and lodging reservation forms will be mailed by April. Please remember that the hotels will not accept telephone reservations for rooms held for reunions. Lodging reservations should be made by returning the reunion lodging forms mailed by the Alumni Association. The Alumni Association is looking forward to seeing you on campus. If you have questions about your reunion, please contact the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, Alumni Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061; phone (703) 231-6285; 24-hour fax (703) 231-3039.

Virginia Tech Magazine Volume 17, Number 3 Spring 1995