Kay Hunnings, Pamplin College of Business associate dean for administration, will retire on Sept. 1. 

Hunnings has served the Virginia Tech community for nearly 30 years since joining the university as an internal auditor in 1994. She was a senior accountant with the Virginia Tech Foundation from 1996-2001 and director of accounting and financial reporting and secretary-treasurer of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center before joining Pamplin as associate dean for administration in 2007.

Hunnings earned her bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech in 1979. She became a Certified Public Accountant in 1995 and earned her MBA from Pamplin in 2007.

During her tenure as associate dean, Hunnings has fostered a culture of service, trust, and fairness that has permeated her teams' efforts and interactions with the university community. Decisions made in the associate dean’s office can affect all areas of the college, and Hunnings said she’s been intentional about ensuring that decisions made are transparent and are carried out fairly across the different units and departments.

“As a first-generation student and a two-time alumna of Virginia Tech, I know education is a pathway for professional and personal advancement, and anything I’ve been able to do to further those opportunities for others has been worth the effort,” Hunnings said.

Hunnings has played a key role in expanding the recruitment of a diverse college faculty and retaining underrepresented faculty. She also has been instrumental in the development of Pamplin’s Women in Business programs, a host of networking and professional development opportunities that aim to elevate women in business roles in every sector.

From left: Bonnie Gilbert, Janice Branch Hall, Donna Wertalik, Kay Hunnings, and Amy Transue.
Kay Hunnings has played an integral role in advancing Pamplin's Women in Business initiatives. The Women in Business leadership board includes (from left) Bonnie Gilbert, Janice Branch Hall, Donna Wertalik, Hunnings, and Amy Transue. Pamplin College of Business photo

During her time at Virginia Tech, Hunnings participated in numerous leadership programs. The Executive Board of the Virginia Network for Women in Higher Education invited her to participate in the 2011-12 class of the Senior Leadership Seminar program in conjunction with the Academic Council on Education Office of Women in Higher Education. In 2012, she was selected by university administrators to participate in the Executive Development Institute, a yearlong executive-level leadership program. In 2019, she was one of only five Virginia Tech leaders selected to participate in the ACC Academic Leaders Network inaugural cohort, a yearlong professional development program designed to facilitate cross-institutional networking and collaboration among academic leaders at universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Kay has played an instrumental role in advancing Virginia Tech’s business education ecosystem. We are deeply appreciative of her commitment to service and institutional excellence. Kay’s contributions will have a long-term positive impact on so many aspects of our operations – recruiting world-class faculty, expanding our academic offerings, and much more. We wish Kay the very best in her retirement,” said Pamplin Interim Dean Roberta "Robin" Russell.

Hunnings shared that while she is looking forward to retirement, “I’ll miss walking into the building every morning, as that is a time when thoughts are fresh and everything feels possible. That is when I feel so connected to Virginia Tech. Of course, I’ll miss my colleagues – bouncing ideas off them, solving issues, providing input, and knowing that our decisions are making a difference in the achievement of the college’s strategic plan and our academic mission.”

As for retirement plans, Hunnings noted that she intends to take a retirement trip to Italy as well as travel across the United States over the next year or so. Spending more time with family, including her two grandchildren, is also something she’s looking forward to doing.

“Eventually, I’m sure I’ll take on more volunteer roles where I can continue to serve in the spirit of Ut Prosim" (That I May Serve).

Hunnings on stage at Pamplin's spring 2022 commencement ceremonies. Pamplin College of Business photo.
Kay Hunnings on stage at Pamplin's spring commencement ceremonies. Pamplin College of Business photo
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