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EDUCATION


KATHERINE A. ROWE PRESIDENT, WILLIAM & MARY, WILLIAMSBURG


The former provost and dean of faculty at Smith College in Massachusetts, Rowe became president of William & Mary in 2018. Under her leadership, the “public ivy” has undertaken initiatives that include an entrepreneurship hub, a teaching innovation studio, a long-range sustain- ability plan and efforts to increase diversity and inclusion. During the pandemic, Rowe dealt with a reve- nue drop-off caused by the shiſt to remote learning. Though the college successfully moved 2,000 courses online in just 10 days, it also initiated a hiring freeze and cleaved $17 million from its budget. Rowe took a 15% salary cut. At the same time, 2020 saw the school raise $149.9 million — its highest-ever annual


JAMES E. RYAN PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, CHARLOTTESVILLE


A first-generation college student, Ryan came to U.Va. in 2018 with an extraordinary resume. He pre- viously served as dean of Harvard’s


Graduate School of Education, graduated summa cum laude from Yale University and earned his law degree from U.Va., grad- uating first in his class. He also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.


In his first year as president of U.Va.,


Ryan launched a $5 billion capital fundraising campaign and helped raise $850 million. When the pandemic struck, he led a shiſt to remote work for employees and sent students home. Ryan and his team oversaw the development of resources to adapt to the new paradigm, led a team of medical experts to install COVID-19 testing sites and partnered with health officials to establish vaccination sites. The pandemic, which caused financial losses for most universities, led to staff furloughs and hourly reductions at U.Va., as well as salary cuts for Ryan and other officials. However, the university also brought in some of its biggest donations in the past year, including a $50 million giſt announced in June from alumni Martha and Bruce Karsh to start the non- partisan Karsh Institute of Democracy.


GREGORY WASHINGTON PRESIDENT, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY, FAIRFAX


In taking the reins at George Mason in July 2020, Washington arrived at one of the most chal- lenging times for any institution — in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. However, under his leadership, the state’s largest four-year public university recorded no significant outbreaks, and its enrollment increased by 2.1%. A first-generation college student and the


university’s first Black president, Washington pre- viously was dean of the University of California, Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering. He earned his degrees in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University. On tap for next spring is the construction of a $168 million expansion of Mason’s Arlington cam- pus near Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2 headquarters. The 360,500-square-foot research, learning and


business center is central to the state’s Tech Talent Investment Program, under which GMU has pledged to produce 2,277 additional bachelor’s and


5,328 master’s graduates in computer science and engineering during the next 20 years. In February, Washington formed an advisory panel of nearly 30 regional business executives and community leaders to guide GMU’s innova- tion initiative.


FIRST JOB: My first job was working on a construction site as a laborer. I mixed cement in a wheelbarrow and loaded and carried bricks to the brick masons.


fundraiser — and complete a decadelong $1.04 billion fundraising campaign.


Beginning this fall, the university is offering full-tuition scholarships to 10 Virginia students from low-income backgrounds in partnership with New York nonprofit The Posse Foundation. W&M also launched a program for veterans with a $10 million anonymous donation last year. Rowe, who holds degrees from Harvard University and Carleton College, is co-founder and former CEO of Luminary Digital Media and serves on the boards of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.


TIMOTHY ‘TIM’ SANDS PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA TECH, BLACKSBURG


A celebrated scientist and expert in the field of light-emitting diodes, Sands came to Virginia Tech in 2014 from Purdue University, where he served as acting president, executive vice president and provost. Progress is underway on the forthcoming $1 billion Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria. In late 2020, Tech alumni Mehul and Hema


Sanghani made a $10 million giſt to the university, $7.4 million of which will support the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics set to open in Alexandria in 2024. In May, aerospace and defense contractor Boeing made a record $50 million, multiyear commitment to back scholarships, recruit faculty and researchers, and fund K-12 pathway programs at the Innovation Campus. Boeing’s giſt tied the university’s previous largest donation made in 2019 by the Fralin family, supporting the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC. Sands called the Boeing giſt “a milestone moment” that will propel the Washington, D.C., area toward becoming “the world’s next major tech hub.” Sands, who earned engineering and physics degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, chairs the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and serves on other boards.


MAJ. GEN. CEDRIC T. WINS (U.S. ARMY, RET.) SUPERINTENDENT, VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE, LEXINGTON


It’s been a rocky year for VMI. Aſter current and former Black cadets spoke to reporters about alleged racist behavior at the military college last year, Gov. Ralph Northam ordered a third-party investigation of VMI last fall. The retirement of the former superintendent, retired Army Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, soon followed. Wins, a 1985 alumnus, came in as VMI’s


interim superintendent in November 2020, and he was appointed the school’s permanent leader this April. In June, the state issued its report, finding that VMI fosters a culture of


54 VIRGINIA 500


“silence, fear and intimidation” regarding racist acts and sexual assault and harassment. Northam blasted his 1981 alma mater, saying “institutional racism and sexism are present, tolerated and too oſten leſt unaddressed.” VMI’s first Black superintendent, Wins issued an action plan that aims to address issues of diversity and inclusion and hired VMI’s first chief diversity officer. Northam said he will expect significant progress in coming months, warning, “VMI is an agency of state government, and we will hold it accountable.” Wins previously held many leadership and staff assignments during his 34-year military career, including in the Army’s Headquarters Department and at the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.


Timothy Sands photo courtesy Virginia Tech


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