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University honors Cecil Maxson at Founders Day

By Lauren Sebastiani, University Relations intern

Cecil R. Maxson Jr. exemplifies what it means to be a dedicated alumnus. With a devotion to his alma mater that spans nearly 45 years, Maxson has played a pivotal role in the development of the university. He was honored with the William H. Ruffner Medal and an Alumni Distinguished Service Award at Founder's Day on April 27, 2001. It is one of the first times both awards have been given to the same person in the same year.

Maxson graduated from Virginia Tech in 1952 with a bachelor's degree in building construction. However, before completing his studies, he served his nation in military service with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 1956 Maxson began a 40-year career with Western Electric, C&P Telephone, and NationsBank Corporation. During his 25-year tenure with NationsBank Corp. and its predecessor corporations, he held various executive positions touching upon management, construction management and real-estate development.

When he retired in 1995, Maxson was senior vice president and manager of corporate real-estate services for the mid-Atlantic states. Maxson was then asked to serve as a business and project consultant for the development of the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in downtown Richmond, which he completed before retiring again in 1998.

For Virginia Tech, Maxson was appointed to the university's Board of Visitors three times by three different governors of both major political parties. He has also been a member of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS) Advisory Council since its inception. During The Campaign for Virginia Tech, the university's recently completed national fund-raising campaign, Maxson served on the university's leadership committee and on the campaign advisory counsels for the CAUS and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Maxson and his wife Shirlee have also made major contributions to endow permanent funds that will help students in architecture and building construction study abroad as well as endowed funds to help students in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"Cecil Maxson has shared his time and his resources as a member of our Volunteer Campaign Committee and has been an important factor in our success," said Dean of Veterinary Medicine and member of the nominating committee for the award, Peter Eyre.

Maxson also is involved by being a member of the Ut Prosim Society, the William Preston Society, Endowed Golden Hokie member, and the Legacy Society. In 1999, he was presented with the CAUS's highest honor, the Lifetime Contributions Award, and was awarded the College of Veterinary Medicine's highest honor, induction in the John. N. Dalton Society, that same year.

Maxson's dedication to the university's motto: "UT Prosim: That I May Serve," reaches beyond the Drillfield. He was a member of Sigma Lambda Chi, a National Honor Construction Society. In addition, he is involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the International Society of Facilities Executives, and has served as director and president of the South Richmond Rotary.

The William H. Ruffner Medal is given to individuals who have performed exceptionally distinguished service on behalf of the university, state, and the nation.


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