In Memoriam: Associate Professor Emerita Peggy Skelton

Margaret Groseclose "Peggy" Skelton

Margaret Groseclose "Peggy" Skelton

BLACKSBURG, Va., July 21, 2010 – Associate Professor Emerita Margaret Groseclose “Peggy” Skelton – a faculty member for more than 20 years who was also one of the university’s most dedicated and generous supporters, died Monday at age 79.

A native of Smyth County, Va., Skelton earned a bachelor’s degree at James Madison University a master’s degree at the University of Tennessee, and took additional graduate courses at Virginia Tech. In 1952, she joined the faculty of what was then Virginia’s Tech’s College of Home Economics, and later directed its Cooperative Extension Family Resource Program.

In that position, Skelton worked with state agencies to develop programs in low-income housing, nutrition education, employment skills, and consumer and health education.

In retirement, she continued to help the university in many roles as a volunteer and philanthropist, along with her husband William E. Skelton, dean emeritus of Virginia Cooperative Extension, who passed away in 2008. The university’s conference center is named for the couple.

The Virginia Tech Alumni Association made Peggy Skelton an honorary, lifetime member in 2001 as a result of her longstanding work on the university’s behalf. She created scholarships for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the Department of Athletics, and the University Honors program. The Skelton Extension Scholarship she created with her husband supports faculty on education leave. The Skeltons were charter members of the Ut Prosim Society and its President’s Circle, the university’s highest distinction for donors.

Peggy Skelton served on numerous university boards and committees, including the National Campaign Steering Committee, the Virginia Tech Foundation Board of Directors, the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund Board of Directors, and the Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Council.

“Peggy Skelton made a tremendous difference at this university as a dedicated faculty member and a passionate and generous volunteer,” said university President Charles W. Steger. “To see the embodiment of the Virginia Tech motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), one can look at the enduring impact Peggy and her husband, Bill, made on this school, its students, the region, and beyond.”

Memorial services are being coordinated by McCoy Funeral Home in Blacksburg.

Those in the university community who may wish assistance or desire counseling support may contact:

Referrals to a campus cleric may be done through the Dean of Students Office at (540) 231-3787.