Edward F.D. Spencer, former vice president for student affairs, has been conferred the “vice president emeritus” title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
Spencer joined the Virginia Tech community in January 1983, when he was named director of housing and residence life. Following that, he continued his work in student affairs as director of residential and dining programs, assistant vice president for student affairs, associate vice president for student affairs, and finally vice president for student affairs. He retired from the university in June 2012.
Spencer is nationally and internationally recognized for his scholarship on the development of students and has numerous scholarly publications and hundreds of presentations outlining best practices for supporting students in higher education. He has also served as associate professor in the higher education program in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in the School of Education, teaching hundreds of graduate students and serving on masters and doctoral committees.
Spencer has contributed significantly to the national and international prominence of the division. Under his leadership, the university’s dining program achieved international recognition as one of the top campus dining programs in the nation.
Under Spencer’s leadership, the university built several residence halls and all four phases of the Oak Lane Greek community and implemented several living/learning communities. He provided leadership and oversight to the 15 departments within the division, including 2,800 employees and managing budgets of more than $100 million.
Spencer has been honored with many national and international awards, including the Pillar of the Profession award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the first Zenobia Lawrence Hikes Leadership Award from the Virginia Tech Student Government Association, and several awards from the Sigma Chi International Fraternity. Additionally, the Spencer Award, given annually to Virginia Tech’s Fraternity Advisor of the Year, is named in his honor.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester, a master’s degree from Syracuse University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.