The Virginia Tech's Office of Student Programs awarded the 13th annual A. Alan Baird Award to an outstanding student leader, Gavin Luter, a senior public and urban affairs major from Suffolk, Va., during the University Student Leadership Awards Ceremony held on April 27.

The A. Alan Baird Award is made possible through the generosity of the family and friends of Alan Baird, class of 1988, who passed away in March of 1992. Baird served as president of the Residence Hall Federation and of the Virginia Association of College and University Residence Halls.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Edward Spencer said: “Alan was an exceptional student leader with high energy, enthusiasm, gifted leadership skills, and had a very caring attitude about his fellow students.”

In the spirit of Alan Baird, this award is for the most outstanding contribution to the residence hall program during or culminating in the current academic year. Students are nominated by their peers, as well as by faculty and staff. Baird’s parents, Aubrey and Betsy, attended the ceremony, as they have every year.

Spencer recognized the award recipient during the University Student Leadership Awards Ceremony recently.

Luter serves as a resident adviser in the Residential Leadership Community in Peddrew-Yates Hall, where he has played a pivotal role in bridging the academic and student life aspects of the community, and in recruiting students to serve on the Hall Council and to apply for resident adviser positions. Spencer said: “A number of resident adviser candidates this year cited Gavin Luter as a role model and inspiration to them in seeking a resident advisorship.”

Luter leads a nine-state area as the regional director of the South Atlantic Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls and represents the region on the National Association of College and University Residence Halls Board of Directors. He has created programming, such as “Project Neapolitan,” a diversity series, and another series on poverty simulation. Luter also mentors the Hillcrest Hall Council, attends Residence Hall Federation retreats, and contributes to the National Residence Hall Honorary.

In presenting the award, Spencer said, "…My favorite quote from one of his nominators [is] ‘His residents, staff, and friends all know that Gavin’s door is always open and he is there with open ears, a smiling face, and a soft shoulder.’ Gavin, you truly keep alive the spirit of Alan Baird."