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Board of Visitors

Governor Gilbert C. Walker appointed the first board of visitors (BOV) on March 19, 1872, the same day he signed the bill establishing the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. The board, comprised of 10 members, held its first meeting in Richmond the following March 25-26, 1872. In 1873, the legislature instituted staggered terms for board members

The composition of the board has changed from time to time over the years. When the board was first appointed in 1872, Gov. Gilbert C. Walker stipulated that ex officio members would include the president of the Virginia State Agricultural Society, members of the State Board of Education, and him. Today, the president of the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the only ex officio member. In 1982 the General Assembly approved the appointment of students to governing bodies of state colleges and universities, and in 1983 the first non-voting undergraduate student, James E. Stroh, joined the Virginia Tech board. The BOV began allowing the president of the Faculty Senate to sit with the board in open sessions in 1988, with Joanne D. Eustis the first to fill that capacity. In 1995 the first graduate student, Dan W. Waddill, joined the board as a non-voting member. In 2006 the board amended its by-laws to add the president of the Staff Senate as a member, and Jean Brickey became the first classified staff representative. Like the undergraduate and graduate student representatives, faculty and staff representatives have no voting privileges.


The chair of the board of visitors is called the rector. Rectors have been as follows (click on a name to read a brief bio of each person):

1872-75 — Dr. Harvey Black
1875-77 — Gen. G. C. Wharton
1877-80 — William Eggleston
1880-81 — R. P. Carson
1882-86 — James C. Taylor
1886-87 — Waller R. Staples
1887-89 — J. Hoge Tyler
1889-1900 — Charles E. Vawter
1900‑08 — J. Thompson Brown
1908-10 — J. C. Carrington
1910-12 — L. E. Johnson
1912-21 — J. Thompson Brown
1921-26 — J. B. Watkins
1926-43 — Robert S. Moss
1943-48 — James P. Woods
1948-52 — William E. Wine
1952-56 — Vernon G. Eberwine
1956-62 — Guy L. Furr
1962-64 — W. Thomas Rice
1964-70 — Harry C. Wyatt
1970-75 — C. Eugene Rowe
1975-78 — G. Frank Clement
1978-81 — Parke C. Brinkley
1981-83 — Charles O. Gordon
1983-84 — Lee C. Tait
1984-87 — A. F. Giacco
1987-89 — W. S. White Jr.
1989-91 — Clifford A. “Cliff” Cutchins
1991-96 — Clifton C. “Cliff” Garvin
1996-97 — Henry J. Dekker
1997-2002 — James E. Turner Jr.
2002-04 — John G. Rocovich
2004-06 — Ben J. Davenport Jr.
2006-08 — Jacob A. Lutz III
2008-10 — John R. Lawson II
2010-12 — George Nolen
2012-14 — Michael J. Quillen
2014-16 — Deborah Petrine
2016-17 — James L. Chapman IV
2017-19 — Dennis H. Treacy
2019-21 — Horacio A. Valeiras
2021-current — Letitia A. (Tish) Long


All members of the board of visitors are listed in the Board of Visitors archive.