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University Distinguished Achievement Award

Presented annually, the University Distinguished Achievement Award is given to an individual with nationally distinguished achievement, whether personal and/or professional, in any field or endeavor of enduring significance and value to society.

2023: W. Andrew “Andy” Beckstoffer ’61
2022: Regina Dugan ’84 and Hoda Kotb ’86
2021: Charles Pryor ’66, ’68, ’70
2019: Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Inc.
2018: Lynne Doughtie, chairman and CEO of KPMG LLP since 2015.
2017: Letitia A. Long, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency from August 2010 until October 2014
2016: Joseph M. DeSimone, chief executive officer and co-founder of Carbon
2015: William Lewis Jr., Virginia Tech’s first Rhodes Scholar and a retired partner of McKinsey & Company
2014: Robert Lewis Turner, an architect for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and in his own practice
2013: Tracy D. Wilkins, an emeritus member of Virginia Tech’s faculty, former university leader, and co-founder of the TechLab company
2012: Joseph R. Loring, started his own engineering firm, Joseph R. Loring & Associates Inc., now known as LORING
2011: Betty P. Chao, founder, president, and chief executive officer of Westech International Inc.
2010: Lance Smith, retired U.S. Air Force general, served as commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, and as NATO’s supreme allied commander for transformation
2009: Henry A. Long Sr., co-founder, Long and Foster; founder, Scott-Long Construction; founder Henry A. Long Company
2008: Gene James, retired president and CEO, Southern States Cooperative
2007: Homer H. Hickam, author of best-selling fiction and non-fiction novels; retired engineer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
2006: Dr. Evaleen Jones, family practitioner; assistant professor, Stanford University’s School of Medicine; founder, Child Family Health International
2005: William H. Goodwin Jr., chairman of the board, CCA Industries Inc.; founder, Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research
2004: Maj. Gen. Archie S. Cannon Jr., retired deputy chief of staff, personnel, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army
2003: James Gills, founder and director, St. Luke’s Cataract and Laser Institute
2002: William E. Jamerson, president, J. E. Jamerson & Sons Inc.
2001: Charles M. Forbes, fundraiser, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; former vice president for Development and University Relations at Virginia Tech
2000: George C. “Jack” Guynn, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
1999: John H. Chichester, member, Senate of Virginia
1998: Roger K. Crouch, visiting scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; astronaut; March 1997 flight, United States Space Shuttle Columbia
1997: William H. Daughtrey Jr., founder, president, and CEO, Princeton Associates
1996: Sidney C. Smith Jr., former chief of cardiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; president, American Heart Association
1995: Olivio Ferrari, (posthumously) Alumni Distinguished Professor, College of Architecture and Urban Studies; founder, CAUS study abroad program
Richard B. Tallbot (posthumously) founding dean, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine; director, Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
1994: James E. Turner Jr., president, General Dynamics Electric Boat Division
1993: Owen B. Pickett, member, U.S. House of Representatives
1992: Mary Virginia Jones, director of design engineering, Atlantic Research Corp.
1991: Robert B. Delano, retired president, American Farm Bureau Federation
John Grado Jr., owner, chairman, and CEO, Technographics, Inc.
1990: Gen. Thomas C. Richards, former deputy commander in chief, U.S. European Command; member of a presidential commission to President George Bush
1989: Alexander F. Giacco, former rector, board of visitors; former chief executive officer, Hercules, Inc.; chief executive officer, Himont, Inc. and Montedison, S.P.A.
1988: No award recommended
1987: Thomas L. Phillips, chairman and CEO, Raytheon Company (designated in 1986)
1986: J. Kenneth Robinson, businessman, former 7th District Congressman
1985: Charles H. Burchard, dean emeritus, College of Architecture and Urban Studies
1984: Clifford A. Cutchins III, chairman and CEO, Sovran Bank and Sovran Finanial Corp.
1983: Clifton C. Garvin Jr., chairman and CEO, Exxon Corp.