New Payne Hall display honors a lifetime of dedicated service

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 20, 2007 – A special celebration will be held at Payne Hall at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 to dedicate a new display honoring the residence hall's namesake.

The display in Payne Hall will serve as a lasting tribute to the late Rev. Alfred C. Payne Jr. and spotlight his lifetime of dedicated service to the university community. This permanent installation is the first of its kind in a Virginia Tech residence hall. The dedication ceremony will be held in Payne Hall's first-floor lounge.

Rev. Payne was widely known and highly regarded for his life-long service to the university and, in particular, to upholding and strengthening the quality of student life at Virginia Tech. He touched many lives as he served his country, community, and university. Payne’s friends and family graciously donated the numerous items featured in the display, which includes a wide array of mementos from his life, such as his Bronze Star Medal and World War II ribbons, sand from Omaha Beach, personal notes and prayers written by Payne, and photos and certificates documenting his service to the community.

“The dedication of Payne Hall to Reverend Al Payne was a fitting tribute for his many contributions to the university and its students,” said Edward Spencer, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “This display will educate students who did not have the opportunity to meet Reverend Payne about what a remarkable individual he was. In this way, his dedication and service may continue to inspire others.”

Payne Hall was completed in July 1993. The hall was named for Payne in honor of his significant contributions to student life on the Virginia Tech campus and in recognition of his many loyal years of service to the university. Payne began working at Virginia Tech in 1947. He left the university in 1949 for a position at Texas A&M and later at the University of Pittsburgh. He returned to Blacksburg in 1958 and continued to be active in the university and Blacksburg communities until his death on November 8, 2003.

Representatives of the university, Payne's widow, Virle Payne, and other friends and family members are expected to attend the display dedication. Spencer, along with family friend and Broadcast Media Coordinator for University Relations, Paul Lancaster, will offer remarks and remembrances at the event.