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Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Board of Visitors


Historical Note

The legislation that created Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) provided for the establishment of a board of visitors as a governing body. Consisting of both appointed and ex-officio members, the board was empowered to select the president and faculty, determine salaries, handle all matters of discipline and student life, and be responsible for all property of the College.

Governor Gilbert C. Walker appointed the first board on 19 March 1872, the day he signed the Bill creating the College, and the first meeting was held March 25 and 26 in Richmond. Various changes have occurred through the years concerning the composition of the board, primarily relating to number and qualifications of appointees and offices to be represented ex-officio. The first board was composed of nine appointed members, with the president of the State Agricultural Society and members of the State Board of Education serving ex-officio. The next year, the makeup was changed so only the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the president of the Agricultural Society served ex-officio. Later, the president of the Agricultural Society was eliminated as an ex-officio member, but the State Superintendent of Public Instruction remained until 1966. The president of the Board of Agriculture and Immigration (now Commerce) became an ex-officio member after 1902, and continues so today, now being the only ex-officio member serving with thirteen appointed members.

Board appointments have always been made by the governor and subject to confirmation by the Virginia Senate. Since its inception, the board has been chaired by a Rector.

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

W. Graham Claytor Papers

Identifier: Ms-1981-095

This collection includes business and personal papers of W. Graham Claytor, a 1906 graduate of Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (later Virginia Polytechnic Institute) and an executive overseeing the operations of a number of American Gas and Electric Company subsidiaries during the 20th century. It includes correspondence, reports, and printed materials relating to personal financial matters, business operations, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and ham radio.

Dates: 1912 - 1964

C. Eugene Rowe Papers

Identifier: Ms-1989-035

The C. Eugene Rowe Papers include materials created and collected by Rowe relating to Virginia Tech during his tenure on the Board of Visitors (1968-1976). There is also a small group of papers from Rowe's involvement in the Presbyterian church.

Dates: 1949 - 1987

Records of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, Guy L. Furr

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-01-04-03

This collection contains administrative letters, meeting minutes, and reports from the Boards of Vistors of Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) during Guy L. Furr's (1895-1977) tenure 1954 to 1964. It also contains materials from several organizations that he was a part of, such as VPI Alumni Association, VPI Educational Foundational, and VPI Continuing Education Program. This collection includes miscellaneous pamphlets and booklets about VPI and other universities in Virginia.

Dates: 1949 - 1964

Records of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-01

The Records of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors includes unofficial minutes, correspondence, reports, Executive Committee minutes and reports, material from and about individual members of the Board, and reports to the Board of Visitors.

Dates: 1873-1879, 1888-ca. 1990s, 2002, 2009, undated