L. Preston Wade receives Alumni Distinguished Service Award

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 6, 2004 – The Virginia Tech Alumni Association has named alumnus L. Preston Wade as a 2004 Alumni Distinguished Service Award, an honor bestowed to recognize outstanding service and support on behalf of the university and the association.

The award is given annually in conjunction with the university’s Founders Day celebration occurring at 3 p.m. Friday, April 23, in the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center Auditorium. First taking place in 1972, Founders Day Convocation is Virginia Tech's annual celebration of the academic and professional achievements of the university and recognizing service to Virginia Tech.

Wade, of Lynchburg, Va., and CEO of Wiley & Wilson, graduated from Virginia Tech in 1955 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. While still an undergraduate, he began his career with Wiley & Wilson as a draftsman and field surveyor in the firm's Lynchburg, Va., office. After earning his degree, Wade spent another summer at Wiley & Wilson before returning to Virginia Tech for a year as a post-graduate student and instructor.

The U.S. Air Force called Wade to active duty in 1956 where he served as a maintenance engineer and a planning engineer. He left the service in 1958 as a First Lieutenant and went back to work for Wiley & Wilson.

In 1964, Wade became an associate member of Wiley & Wilson and in 1969 was named a partner and director of Project Management and Construction Administration. After the firm reorganized as a professional corporation in 1973, Wiley and Wilson named Wade president, and in 1980, he was elected chairman and CEO. Today, Wiley & Wilson has offices in Lynchburg, Richmond, and Virginia Beach and employs approximately 115 people.

Wade is a registered professional engineer in 19 states and the District of Columbia. He is the former director of the National Society of Professional Engineers and president of the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers (VSPE), and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Virginia Association of Professions, Tau Beta Pi, and Chi Epsilon. VSPE recognized. Wade's contributions with the society's Distinguished Service Award in both 1971 and 1980 and named him the Virginia Engineer of the Year in 1982.

In addition to his exceptional professional success, Wade is an active community leader. He is a long-time member of the advisory board of the Salvation Army in Lynchburg, former board member and past president of the Greater Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce, past board member of the Lynchburg Arts Center and of the YMCA of Central Virginia, and a former member of the advisory board of the Miller Home of Lynchburg.

Wade has remained dedicated to Virginia Tech throughout his post-graduate years. He has been a member of the College of Engineering Committee of 100 since its inception and is a member of the Ut Prosim Society, President's Council Membership Committee for Lynchburg, and the Virginia Economic Development Advisory Board. He also has served on the boards of directors for the Alumni Association and the Virginia Tech Foundation and as the Annual Fund Chairman for the College of Engineering. In 1984, he established the L. Preston Wade Endowed Professorship in Engineering.

Wade and his wife, Gale, have three daughters and three grandchildren.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.