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Honorary Degrees

Ten honorary degrees have been awarded in the history of the university.

John M McBryde, the fifth president, received the first one, a Doctor of Science, in 1907.

Col. Richard Henry Jordan received the honorary degree of Civil Engineer (C.E.) in 1919 “for distinguished service on the construction of the Panama Canal.”

Lawrence Priddy, class of 1897, who helped raise funds to build both the YMCA Building and War Memorial Gymnasium, received the honorary degree Doctor of Commercial Science in 1929.

Robert B. Pamplin Sr. and Robert B. Pamplin Jr. both were presented an honorary Doctor of Letters in 1987 for outstanding service to and financial support of Virginia Tech.

T. Marshall Hahn Jr. received an honorary Doctor of Science in 2001 for his role in converting Virginia Tech from a small college to a major research university during his presidency.

Robert B. Pamplin Jr.received an honorary bachelor’s degree in 2001.

Clifton C. Garvin Jr., a member of the Class of 1943, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 2002 for outstanding professional achievements, leadership, and support of Virginia Tech, as approved by resolution at the Board of Visitors meeting on March 18, 2002.

Irving Linwood Peddrew III, the first African American student to attend Virginia Tech and the first to attend any historically all-white four-year public institution in the 11 former states of the Confederacy, was presented with an honorary Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech commencement ceremonies on May 13, 2016.

Minnis Ridenour had conferred upon him an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree, approved by resolution by the Board of Visitors on March 26, 2018. The degree was presented at the University Commencement on May 11, 2018.