Rugaber Named Virginia Tech Presidential Fellow

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 10, 2003 – Walter Rugaber, former president and publisher of the Roanoke Times, has been named a Virginia Tech Presidential Fellow. In this role, he will work with the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the Center for Innovative Leadership (CIT) on issues of education and economic development.

"I am confident that the Virginia Tech community, and the communities we serve, will benefit greatly from Walter's sage input," says Tech President Charles Steger who appointed Rugaber to the post. "His expertise in public policy and his wealth of experience will be an invaluable resource as the university bolsters efforts to strengthen the region's educational and economic infrastructure."

After earning his degree from Northwestern University, Rugaber started his distinguished career in journalism with a stint at the Atlanta Journal in 1961, then moved on to the Detroit Free Press and the New York Times in their Detroit, Atlanta, and Washington bureaus.

In 1978 he became the executive editor of the Greensboro Daily News & Record, and in 1982 made the move to the Roanoke Times where he oversaw a staff of nearly 500, produced three Pulitzer Prize nominees, recorded three of the best financial years in the newspaper's history, and helped establish the Roanoke Times as Western Virginia's major newspaper. From 1995 to 1998, Rugaber served as president of the Landmark Publishing Group, parent company of the Roanoke Times.

In 2001, the Roanoker Magazine selected Rugaber as one of the Roanoke Valley's 50 most influential people. In addition to his professional achievements, he has been an advocate of the arts--serving as President of the Roanoke Symphony Society and supporter of the Mill Mountain Theatre. He served as chair of the Roanoke Valley United Way Campaign, served on the Board of the Center for Innovative Leadership, and was a Trustee on the Hollins University Board, most recently serving as Hollins University's interim President from May 2001 to June 2002.