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Professors to be honored posthumously

By Julie Kane

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 32 - May 11, 1995

On May 13, Virginia Tech will present its University Distinguished Achievement Award posthumously to Olivio C. Ferrari, an alumni distinguished professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and to Richard B. Talbot, founding dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

According to a resolution adopted by the Board of Visitors, the award is to be given in recognition of Ferrari as "a special teacher who devoted his life and resources to this university and who was an architect for the quality and international prominence of Virginia Tech."

After joining the college in 1965, Ferrari was instrumental in crafting the core foundation of the current College of Architecture and Urban Studies, one the most highly rated colleges of its kind in the nation. In 1968, Ferrari created the Inner College Program for a limited number of faculty members and students who were at different levels and disciplines. This innovative programing afforded students access to a community of faculty members from the college and beyond.

Four years after joining Virginia Tech, he won the university's Wine award for Teaching Excellence and the Virginia Society, American Institute of Architects teaching award. In 1977, he received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and was inducted into the university's Academy of Teaching Excellence. He was named an alumni distinguished professor in 1982. For inspiring a generation of students who themselves have contributed to the advancement of architecture, Ferrari received the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor Award for 1990.

Ferrari broadened the college's scope by creating the Study Abroad Program in 1968. Since then, nearly 1,000 students have had the opportunity to study in Europe under his direction. In a culmination of almost 30 years of service to the university, Ferrari helped found and was named director of the Virginia Tech European Studies Center in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. On July 15, 1994, Ferrari, 63, died of an illness at his home in Carona, Switzerland.

The University Distinguished Achievement Award will also be given in honor memory, of Talbot, in recognition of his lifetime of dedication and accomplishment. A national leader in the veterinary profession, Talbot, 61, died September 8, 1994, in an airliner crash.

Before joining Virginia Tech, Talbot served the University of Georgia as chairman of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1974, he was hired by Virginia Tech to develop plans and create a college of veterinary medicine.

He led efforts to create the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and presided over the graduation of its charter class in 1984. Following his retirement from the Virginia-Maryland deanship, Talbot served for several years as the director of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation.

Upon his return to Virginia Tech on a full-time basis in 1989, Talbot resumed his professorship in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, where he conducted extensive work in the area of pharmacological and toxicological information-delivery systems.

Talbot served as editor of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education until his death. He also was editor and secretary of the American Veterinary Computer Society, and editor of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals and Biologicals, a standard reference work in veterinary medicine.

He had served on the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council Committee on Veterinary Medical Sciences, was a board member of Hazleton Corporation, and was recipient of numerous professional honors.