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College of Science inducts six new members during fifth annual Hall of Distinction ceremony

December 7, 2017

The College of Science 2017 Hall of Distinction ceremony and reception at the Inn at Virginia Tech on Friday, November 10, 2017.

2017 College of Science Hall of Distinction honorees
Inductees for the fifth College of Science Hall of Distinction are (top row, left to right) Henry Butler, Lay Nam Chang, Joseph Teyu Chou, and (bottom row, left to right) Blanton Godfrey, Mayer Levy, and Roger H. Moore.

The Virginia Tech College of Science has inducted six new members into its Hall of Distinction, bringing the total number of honored alumni and friends of the college to 36.

In its fifth year, the College of Science Hall of Distinction ceremony honors alumni and friends who have excelled in their professional careers, as well as in their service and philanthropy to civic groups and the university itself. Honorees also have served as mentors, advisors, and employers of student interns and new graduates and assisted in defining the college’s mission to pursue science excellence.

At the induction ceremony, held Nov. 10, College of Science Dean Sally C. Morton said the honorees “are the backbone of our mission in educating science leaders of tomorrow and are instrumental in contributing to Virginia Tech’s legacy, history, and future.”

This year’s honorees are:

Henry Butler, master’s and doctoral degree, economics, 1979 and 1982. As dean of the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, Butler boasts tremendous success in securing philanthropic support, including a $30 million gift that resulted in renaming the law school for Scalia. Additionally, he secured more than $34 million to support the George Mason Law and Economics Center during his tenure as its executive director. He has published in the Journal of Law & Economics and the Journal of Law Economics and Organization. His casebook, "Economic Analysis for Lawyers," has been adopted at leading law schools throughout the United States and is the primary textbook for the Economics Institutes for Judges. He has led programs to teach the basics of economics, finance, accounting, statistics, and scientific methods to more than 3,000 sitting U.S. federal judges.

Lay Nam Chang, founding dean, College of Science. Chang spearheaded the split of the former College of Arts and Sciences into the College of Science and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, taking the helm of the former in 2003. Under his leadership, the college launched the Academy of Integrated Science, which includes new cross-disciplinary degree programs that cross boundaries, such as the Integrated Science Curriculum, and computational modeling and data analytics, nanoscience, and systems biology programs, in addition to the science, technology, and the law minor. Chang also helped launch the School of Neuroscience in 2015. It has since become one of the most popular programs not only in the college, but at Virginia Tech as a whole, with 600 students. The college, under Chang’s leadership, secured more than $80 million in philanthropic support and completed its first comprehensive campaign.

Joseph Teyu Chou, master’s and doctoral degrees, economics, 1994 and 1996. Chou is chairman of Taipei Financial Center Corp., commonly known as Taipei 101. Taipei 101’s headquarters was the world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2010 and set the global benchmark in intelligent performance management, earning the title of the world’s tallest green and smart building. Prior to this, Chou served as its chief executive, leading the company to a record year in 2015 with best-ever operational performance and highest-ever merchandize sales. He has consulted extensively for corporations, government agencies, and international groups. Since 1996, Joseph has been on the academic faculty of the public finance department in Taiwan’s National Chengchi University and served as its department chair. He also has served as a director of Taiwan Financial Holding Corp., the largest state-owned bank in Taiwan.

Blanton Godfrey, bachelor’s degree, physics, 1963. A veteran of the Vietnam conflict, Godfrey is the Joseph D. Moore Distinguished University Professor of Textiles and Apparel Technology and Management at North Carolina State, and previously served as dean of N.C. State’s College of Textiles, the leading institution of its type, producing more than half the doctorates in its field in the United States. Previously, he worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he led the Quality Theory and Technology Department, and served as chairman and chief executive of Juran Institute Inc. In 1987, he co-founded the National Demonstration Project on Quality Improvement in Health Care, with the goal of using industrial quality methods in health care. For Virginia Tech, Godfrey has served on the Department of Physics Advisory Board and served on the 50 the Reunion Committee for the Class of 1963.

Mayer Levy, bachelor’s degree, biology, 1955. The second of four generations of Hokies, Levy enjoyed a remarkable career as a dental practitioner and educator, running his own private practice for decades and serving as adjunct faculty member of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Dentistry. At the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, he helped form a core-curricula, multiyear course in oral health, believed to be the first of its kind in a U.S. medical school. He has served the College of Science Dean’s Roundtable Advisory Board, the Virginia Tech Alumni Association’s board of directors, and is a longtime member of the Highty-Tighties and a member of the Ut Prosim Society. His volunteer efforts include promoting oral health initiatives and environmental efforts, including water monitoring at the Chesapeake Bay, and support of Jewish studies, founding the Levy Family Judaic Studies Endowed Fund.

Roger H. Moore, bachelor’s degree, general science, 1970. Moore’s diverse career includes stints as president of AT&T Canada in Toronto, president of Northern Telecom (now Nortel Networks Corp.) in Japan, and president and chief executive of Illuminet Holdings Inc., a telecommunications company that boasted one of the largest public offerings in 1999. Previously, he served five years in the U.S. Army Security Agency, with assignment at the National Security Agency. He has served on numerous company boards of directors, currently with Consolidated Communications and Verisign Inc., and now serves on telecommunications advisory boards at the University of Southern California and the University of Colorado. At Virginia Tech, he volunteers with the College of Science Dean’s Roundtable Advisory Board and the university’s Legacy Society, and has championed the college’s computational modeling and data analytics program.

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