Golden-year alumni refurbish Burruss lobbies

by Netta Smith

To celebrate their 50th reunion, the class of 1946 made a class gift that will beautify the lobbies of Burruss Hall.

"Burruss Hall stands for everything that we treasure as a class," says class gift chairman Bill Atkinson (mechanical engineering '46). "On the day we arrived at VPI, I vividly recall how impressed I was with the beauty of Burruss Hall."

The new furnishings add a warm, personal touch to Burruss' stone and marble and provide a more impressive entrance for the campus' most-visited building. The class funds furnished the lower lobby with a circular table, custom-designed carpet in Hokie colors, and custom-made benches where visitors can rest. They hung colorful banners representing each academic college on the upper walls. The upper lobby has new lighting, specially crafted furniture, and the orange and maroon carpeting. The furniture was designed in a medieval style to complement the stonework in the lobbies and to fit the massive areas.

"One of the things that is so wonderful about Virginia Tech is the way we keep our grounds and facilities in such wonderful shape. That positive impression now continues as visitors enter Burruss and come into the upstairs lobby," says Karen Torgersen, interim director of undergraduate admissions. "The renovations have made it a more cheerful place. It leaves parents with a positive impression that a university that cares for its facilities must also care about its students."

John Sutton (business administration '46 M.S.) is the class chairman, with overall responsibility for the class reunion. So far, $98,000 has been raised toward a $150,000 goal that includes funding not only for the Burruss renovations but also for scholarships for the corps of cadets.

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Legacy Society members recognized at first annual event

Someone Adam Leslie '98 will never know was instrumental in sealing his decision to come to Virginia Tech.

"While both my parents' hearts and my heart were set on Tech, financial obligations loomed large," Leslie told some 100 members of the Legacy Society gathered at the German Club on Nov. 1. "I was especially delighted to learn that I would receive the Hahn Scholarship from the College of Engineering. This scholarship was started at the bequest of John Lee Pratt."

Leslie spoke at the inaugural event to recognize those--like the late John Pratt--who have made deferred gifts to the university in such forms as will provisions, charitable remainder trusts, life insurance, charitable gift annuities, and retirement account designations.

The far-sighted support of society members also received praise from President Paul Torgersen, who pointed out that of the 35 gifts for more than $1 million made to the Campaign for Virginia Tech, 20 have been deferred gifts. In fact, deferred gifts accounted for more than $62 million of the $207 million raised by the campaign through Sept. 30.

The Legacy Society, created in the late l980s, is comprised of individuals who support the university through deferred giving.

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