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Ruffner Award Winner
Ward gives of himself to support university

By Julie Kane

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 28 - April 18, 1996

For more than three decades, G. Truman Ward, FAIA, has demonstrated his commitment to Virginia Tech and the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS) through his distinguished service and generosity, giving freely of his time and personal resources to support the institution. In 1951, he graduated from the university with honors with a bachelor's of science in building design, and in 1952, he earned a master's of science in architecture. After graduation he became a registered architect and entered into partnership in 1964 with Charles E. Hall to establish the very successful firm Ward/Hall Associates in Northern Virginia. For excellence in his field, Ward was named a fellow in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), an honor bestowed on relatively few of the nation's architects.

According to Charles Steger, vice president for Development and University Relations and former CAUS dean, "G.T. Ward sets a wonderful example for us all. He has not only distinguished himself in his profession, but also in leadership and citizenship. He can and does make things happen."

The extent of his leadership role is reflected by the significant and numerous positions he has held, or currently holds, on university boards. From 1984 to 1987, he was a member of the Board of Visitors and is current president of the William Preston Society, an organization for retired members of that board. Other highlights on his long list of university service include immediate past president of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, current director of the Virginia Tech Foundation, and the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund Board. In addition, he is a member of the Corps of Cadets Alumni Board. In 1988, the university honored him with the Virginia Tech Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award.

Currently, Ward is fulfilling a vital role in the "Campaign for Virginia Tech," a capital campaign designed to raise $250 million for the university. He is a member of the steering committee and chair of regional campaigns.

He also has had a long history of participation and leadership with the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. In addition to establishing an endowed chair and scholarship, Ward served as the first chair of the CAUS Advisory Council.

"During the six years that he held that position," said Steger, "he provided vital assistance to the dean and administrators, achieving a number of college goals, such as creating a college endowment, promoting the college's needs for additional space, expanding the Alexandria Center, and obtaining the site for the Center for European Studies and Architecture."

CAUS current dean, Patricia K. Edwards, further elaborated, "G.T. Ward continues to hold active membership on the CAUS Advisory Council, contributing vision and leadership to the college. He is a highly respected alumnus whose charm and grace profoundly affect all who meet him. He has consistently demonstrated a composed, genuine and passionate attitude toward his profession and his roots at Virginia Tech. In recognition of G. Truman Ward's continuous contributions to the university in uncountable ways, it is most fitting that the university award him one of its highest honors, the William H. Ruffner Medal."