Friday, April 29, 2011
Whopper of a Windfall for Virginia Tech Engineering
An anonymous donor has committed $25 million toward the Signature Engineering Building planned for Virginia Tech, the largest single donation ever given to the 139-year-old institution.
It was was one of three multimillion-dollar contributions to Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering highlighted yesterday by university President Charles W. Steger. Speaking at a press conference at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Steger also announced $3 million in support for the project from the Quillen family of Southwest Virginia, and the receipt of $17 million from an estate gift in support of the mechanical and chemical engineering departments. Both will have space in the building.
The Quillens’ support was led by alumnus Michael J. Quillen, who earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1971 and his master's degree in the subject in 1972, of Bristol. The departmental support, in the form of both scholarships and professorships, is from the late Robert E. Hord Jr. of Richmond. He earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1949 and his master's degree in power and fuel engineering in 1950.
Hord’s gift is the largest bequest in Virginia Tech history.
“These three gifts, along with many others received since 2003 – when we launched our $1 billion Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future – demonstrate how private support provides a margin of excellence for our institution,” Steger says. “This new building, as well as the many new scholarships and faculty assistance funds provided by donors over the life of our campaign, are helping our largest college to raise the bar even higher for engineering education in Virginia.”