A broad and representative group of 25 Virginia Tech faculty, students, alumni, and community members will convene to form an ad hoc advisory council that will look at Virginia Tech’s history in the context of today and the Beyond Boundaries vision for the future as the university prepares for its sesquicentennial.

Virginia Tech will commemorate the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2022.

The council will engage the broad university community as they reflect on Virginia Tech’s history and its connection to the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation at large.

Periodically, the council will communicate its findings in ways that incorporate the university’s core missions of teaching, research, service, and engagement. Its recommendations will be shared with university leadership and/or the appropriate avenue of governance, up to and including the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

Bob Leonard, a professor in the School of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences whose scholarship involves developing strong collaborative community partnerships, will chair the council.

Council membership includes:

  • C.L. Bohannon, assistant professor of landscape architecture, College of Architecture and Urban Studies
  • Denny Cochrane, sustainability program manager, member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Alumni Committee, and university alumnus.
  • Sam Cook, associate professor of sociology, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
  • Clara Cox, retired director of publications at Virginia Tech, published author of Virginia Tech history, and university alumna.
  • Michael Herndon, director of summer and winter sessions and university alumnus.
  • Alexandra Hyler, doctoral student, School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.
  • Laura Jensen, associate professor and chair, Center for Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs, College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
  • Shaheen E. Lakhan, chief of pain management, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Carilion Clinic.
  • Mark Lawrence, vice president for governmental and external relations at Carilion Clinic, president of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors, and university alumnus.
  • Patty Perillo, vice president for student affairs.
  • Peter Potter, director of publishing strategy for University Libraries and university alumnus.
  • Katrina Powell, professor of English, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
  • Menah Pratt-Clarke, vice president for strategic affairs.
  • Aaron Purcell, director of special collections, University Libraries.
  • Paul Quigley, director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, and James I. Robertson Jr. Associate Professor of Civil War History, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
  • Barbara Pendergrass Richmond, dean emerita of students.
  • James “Bud” Robertson Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and founding director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies.
  • Emily Satterwhite, associate professor of religion and culture, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
  • Carmen Gimenez Smith, professor of English, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
  • Peter Wallenstein, professor of history, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
  • Rex Willis, undergraduate student, Pamplin College of Business and president of the Student Government Association.
  • Sherwood Wilson, vice president for operations and Virginia Tech alumnus.
  • Matt Winston, senior associate vice president for alumni relations and Virginia Tech alumnus.
  • Karenne Wood, member of the Monacan Indian Nation and director of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.