Tom Tillar honored with emeritus status
Tom Tillar, who stepped down as vice president for alumni affairs in 2016 after 20 years in that role at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of vice president emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.
A member of the Virginia Tech community for more than 46 years, Tillar served Virginia Tech in many roles, including in Student Affairs and as director of alumni relations, vice president for alumni relations, interim senior vice president for advancement, and most recently, special assistant to the dean of the Pamplin College of Business from 2016-22.
Tillar led university efforts to plan, design, and raise funds for the Holtzman Alumni Center that opened in 2005 as part of the new alumni and conference center complex encompassing The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. In recognition of his efforts, the Alumni Center Grand Hall was renamed Tillar Grand Hall in October 2021.
In addition, Tillar led many university engagement initiatives to introduce innovative practices to better serve an alumni constituency that grew from 40,000 to 240,000 during his tenure. He directed university annual giving programs for 11 years increasing annual giving from $700,000 to $2 million annually.
Tillar also edited and published "Tech Triumph – A Pictorial History of Virginia Tech" in 1984. He received the Dissertation of the Year Award from the Virginia Educational Administrators in 1979 for his research on mentoring first-year students during their early career exploration and decision making.
His leadership and service throughout his career was acknowledged when he received the Pi Kappa Alpha Loyalty Award in 2014 and the Alumni Distinguished Service to the University Award in 2019.
An active member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Tillar received its Frank L. Ashmore Award for Lifetime Achievement for service to the profession and CASE in 2017.
An alumnus himself, Tillar received all three of his academic degrees — a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and an Ed.D. — from Virginia Tech.