Gene Egger
Gene Egger. Photo courtesy of Gene Egger's family.

Dayton Eugene “Gene” Egger, 83, the Patrick and Nancy Lathrop Professor of Architecture Emeritus in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, died peacefully at his home on May 21.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1969, Egger contributed significantly to the teaching mission of the architecture studio at the Steger Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. He also aided in the advancement of the international education abroad program as director of special programs for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Egger was awarded the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Programs and named international president of the Phi Beta Delta honor society for international scholars.

Reflecting on Egger’s contributions to the college, Jack Davis, Dean Emeritus and Reynolds Metals Professor Emeritus of the School of Architecture + Design, said, “Gene was a talented educator, pedagogical leader, colleague, and mentor to thousands of architects. His colleagues and students learned the fine art of architectural sketching from him. His impact on design education is significant.”

In the classroom, Egger taught a wide range of architecture courses to both undergraduate and graduate students. He served as chair of the Academy of Teaching Excellence, assistant dean for undergraduate studies, chair of the foundation program, and director of the industrial design program. Egger received the William E. Wine Award, and he participated extensively in university governance by serving as chair of the William E. Wine Award Committee and the Commission on International Affairs and Outreach.

Ron Daniel, associate provost and professor emeritus, said Egger was a “consummate mentor and a ‘teacher of teachers.’ Teaching here and abroad, Gene created a holistic weave of unforgettable moments of insight, snapshots of history, all the while blended with his sense of humanity and humor.”

Born March 14, 1939, in Starkville, Mississippi, Egger was preceded in death by his father, Earl Egger, and his mother, Francis Hightower. He was a devoted husband to Dorothy and doting father to Kirsten. His commitment and dedication to his family and education drove him throughout his life. 

Egger received his bachelor's degree from Auburn University and a master's degree from Virginia Tech.

A memorial gathering will be held at a later date in Blacksburg. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift to the Steger Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland (donations can be made here) or the charity of your choice. 

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