Virginia Tech has selected William C. Latham to receive the 2007 William H. Ruffner Medal, the university's most prestigious honor. The Ruffner Medal is awarded annually to recognize individuals who have performed notable and distinguished service to the university.
Latham has served Virginia Tech for more than 50 years. He was appointed by both governors Charles Robb and James Gilmore to two terms on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, where he served as vice rector. He is also an active member of the William Preston Society, has served on the National Leadership Campaign Committee for the Alumni and Conference Center, and has participated in prominent leadership roles in Virginia Tech’s two prior capital campaigns. Nearly a decade ago, he received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his service and dedication to the university.
It’s a tradition of service that Latham continues. He and his wife, Betty, currently serve as co-chairs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ campaign steering committee. The Latham family’s generosity to Virginia Tech is evident in scholarships, research, and the agriculture research building, which bears the Latham name. Latham and his wife are members of the President’s Circle of the Ut Prosim Society, which is the university’s most prestigious donor recognition society for those whose lifetime philanthropy has reached an outstanding level.
Latham received his bachelor’s degree in general agriculture with a minor in business administration from Virginia Tech in 1955. An entrepreneurial spirit led Latham to found Budget Motels Inc. in 1973, which today owns and operates ten motels.
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.