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Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors

Compiled and edited by Jenkins Mikell Robertson

Governor Gilbert C. Walker appointed the first Board of Visitors the day he signed the Bill establishing the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College on March 19, 1872. The first meeting of the Board was in Richmond March 25-26. The firs Board was composed of ten members (three serving three-year terms, three serving two-year terms, three serving one-year terms, and one ex-officio member). Composition of the Board has changed from time to time down through the years. At the end of its first century, the University's Board of Visitors was composed of thirteen members appointed by the Governor and one ex-officio member, the president of the state Board of Agriculture and Commerce.


Source: Historical Data Book: Centennial Edition, Blacksburg, Va., Bulletin, v. 65, no. 4, April 1972, p. 68


The full text of this history, along with a list of rectors, is available online. A brief history of the Board of Visitors, with a link to the current Board of Visitors website (which contains lists and some biographies of past rectors and members) is also online.

Rectors of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors

A brief history of the Board of Visitors, with a link to the current Board of Visitors website (which contains lists of past rectors and members) is available online. This site also contains brief biograpies of rectors and many past members. Below are links to photographs of some past rectors. A pdf list of rectors is available online.


Harvey Black 1872-1875 [photograph]
Gen. G.C. Wharton 1875-1877
William Eggleston 1877-1880
R.P. Carson 1880-1881
James C.Taylor 1882-1886
Waller R.Staples 1886-1887
James Hoge Tyler 1887-1889 [photograph]
Charles E.Vawter 1889-1900
J. Thompson Brown 1900-1908 [photograph]
J.C. Carrington 1908-1910
Lucius E. Johnson 1910-1912 [photograph]
J. Thompson Brown* 1912-1921 (*His second term as Rector) [photograph]
J.B. Watkins 1921-1926
Robert S. Moss 1926-1943
James P. Woods 1943-1948
William E. Wine 1948-1952 [photograph]
Vernon G. Edberwine 1952-1956
Guy L. Furr 1956-1962 [photograph]
W. Thomas Rice 1962-1964
Harry C. Wyatt 1964-1970 [photograph]
C. Eugene Rowe 1970-1975 [photograph]
Frank Clement 1975-1978 [photograph]
Parke C. Brinkley 1978-1981
Charles O. Gordon 1981-1983
Lee C. Tait 1983-1984 [photograph]
Al Giacco 1984-1987
Pete White 1987-1989
Cliff Cutchins 1989-1991
Cliff Garvin 1991-1996
Henry Dekker 1996-1997 [photograph]
James E. Turner 1997-2002 [photograph]
John G. Rocovich, Jr. 2002-2004 [photograph]
Ben J. Davenport, Jr. 2004-2006 [photograph]
Jacob A. Lutz, III 2006-2008 [photograph]
John R. Lawson, II 2008-2010 [photograph]
George Nolen 2010-2012 [photograph]
Michael J. Quillen 2012-2014 [photograph]
Deborah L. Petrine 2014-2016 [photograph]
James L. Chapman, IV 2016-2017 [photograph]
Dennis H. Treacy 2017-2019
Horacio A. Valeiras 2019-current

Board of Visitors Photographs

This exhibit contains images of past Boards of Visitors from selected years. The gallery below includes the photographs (and in the case of several early Boards, a text-only list of members) in chronological order. Clicking on an image will take you to a more detailed page, usually with a list of names of people in the photograph. More recent photographs (after 2017) are available on the Board of Visitors website.

Board of Visitors Newspaper Articles

The existing exhibit also contained several historical newspaper articles on the Board of Visitors: