In memoriam: Wally Newton, adjunct professor in Pamplin's Department of Finance
September 13, 2019
Wallace B. Newton Sr., a longtime adjunct professor of finance and former president of the Virginia Tech MBA Alumni Association, passed away on Sept. 8.
Newton – known to most as Wally – was a devoted friend and loving husband, father, brother, uncle, and grandfather.
He began his finance career at Newport News Shipbuilding, before a long career in banking. Moving to Roanoke in 2005, Newton began his consulting service to small businesses, through which he gained an extended family at W.S. Connelly and was warmly regarded as the “financial whisperer” throughout Southwest Virginia.
Early in his professional career, Newton felt a call to teaching. This passion which would see him teach at four Virginia universities and colleges, including the past 12 years as adjunct faculty at Virginia Tech.
Newton played an instrumental role in helping countless Virginia Tech students choose their career path, prepare for job interviews, and start their business careers. He developed and taught the Survey of Finance Careers course, which is now mandatory for every finance student at Virginia Tech. He also served as the faculty adviser to Virginia Tech's Finance Club, which sponsored many events each year for students to learn about finance career opportunities and to network with employers and alumni.
“We were good friends for at least 12 years,” said Vijay Singal, department head for the Department of Finance, Insurance, and Business Law. “We talked a few weeks ago, while he was in his hospital bed, and he was cheerful and was excited about returning to the classroom next semester. Like everyone else, students loved him – his sections were always the first ones to fill up. I have seen a lot of student evaluations and have read numerous student comments. His evaluations and comments were always outstanding.”
Singal continued, “We will miss him as a teacher and a friend.”
Initiated through his brothers in Tau Beta Upsilon/Theta Xi, Newton leaves behind a legacy of service too long to fully list. He was proud to serve as president of the Richmond Jaycees, as a textbook co-author for the American Bankers Association, and as a co-founder or board member of numerous community technology, investment, and development groups. Newton gave back tirelessly to his alma mater, including roles with the Pamplin College of Business Advisory Council, Virginia Tech MBA Alumni Association, Virginia Tech KnowledgeWorks Business Incubator, and as a Hokie Rep.
A celebration of Newton’s life will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 28 at The German Club of Virginia Tech, located at 711 Southgate Drive, Blacksburg.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Virginia Tech at http://www.givingto.vt.edu, or by check payable to The Virginia Tech Foundation Inc. Checks may be mailed to Virginia Tech Advancement (0336), Office of Gift Accounting, 902 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
In making contributions, please write “in memory of Wallace (Wally) B. Newton” on your check, or for online gifts include this language in the Honorary/Memorial Gifts section. Contributions are tax deductible.
Newton’s full obituary can be found at the Simpson Funeral Home website.