UVa-Wise names Volunteer and Benefactor of the Year
William J. Sturgill and Teresa A. Sullivan
The Estate of Carol Phipps Buchanan was honored as Benefactor of the Year and William J. Sturgill ’56 was named Volunteer of the Year during the 2012 Benefactors Celebration, held recently in the David J.Prior Convocation Center.
The awards were presented by University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan and Leonard Sandridge, special assistant to Sullivan.
Carol Buchanan, a native of Clintwood, passed away in May 2011 at the age of 86. A $1 million gift from her estate will endow a professorship in biology in honor of her late husband, Senator John Buchanan. Her husband earned a bachelor’s degree from the University in 1933 and a medical degree from the University’s School of Medicine in 1951. He served as state senator from the Wise County region from 1971 until 1991, and operated a general medical practice in Wise. He died in 1991.
“Together, the Buchanans supported the College through their giving for over 20 years,” Sullivan said. “After her husband died, Carol wanted to provide funding to endow a professorship in his memory. A community-minded person, she wanted her estate to attract and retain exceptional faculty in the department of natural sciences.”
The professors who fill the position will be known as the John C. Buchanan Professor in Biology.
William J. Sturgill was named Volunteer of theYear for 2012. Sandridge presented the award and spoke of Sturgill’s deep commitment to the College for more than 58 years.
“Through his enthusiasm, hard work and expertise, he has made a significant difference in the lives of countless UVa-Wise students and in the lives of the citizens of Southwest Virginia,” Sandridge said. “Tonight we are honoring him because he is a staunch advocate for UVa-Wise, and is deeply committed to the College’s mission of academic excellence and service to the region. “
Sullivan told those gathered that UVa-Wise and the University share common interests, common commitments, and common hopes for the future.
“Together we form a sort of family across the Commonwealth,” she said. “This evening I congratulate you on meeting your ‘Fulfilling the Dream’ campaign goal of $50 million. You met that goal way back in October 2010, and your gifts and pledges to the campaign now stand at more than $65 million.”
Record increases in the percentage of alumni making gifts to the College, and in the total number of donors is a remarkable achievement in tough economic times, Sullivan added. The campaign’s success will leave an enduring mark on the College, she said.
The president also spoke of the College’s plans for the future, and urged the crowd to envision UVa-Wise in 2020 with an eye toward what needs to be done between now and then to sustain the excellence that has been created on campus.
“Over the years you have invested in the College at Wise because you have seen first-hand the value it brings to this region and its people,” she said. “As we look toward the future, I thank you for everything you have already done for UVa-Wise, and I ask for your continued support in the years ahead.”