T. Marshall Hahn Jr., Who Remade Virginia Tech as President, Dies during 89

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T. Marshall Hahn Jr. noticed Virginia Tech as “a sleeping giant” to be awakened.

Virginia Tech

T. Marshall Hahn Jr., who as boss of Virginia Tech remade it from a informal troops college with a mostly white, mostly masculine tyro physique into a diverse, internationally eminent investigate university, died on May 29 during his home outward Blacksburg, Va. He was 89.

The university, in Blacksburg, announced a death.

In 1998, in a retrospective hearing of Dr. Hahn’s career, The Roanoke Times called him “the masculine who done Tech what it is today.”

A physicist by training, Dr. Hahn insincere a presidency of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, as it was afterwards known, in 1962. At a time, enrollment numbered not many some-more than 6,000.

Although students during a institute’s compared women’s college, Radford College (now Radford University), could attend courses during Virginia Polytechnic, a tyro physique was nominally all male. And yet a hospital had certified a initial black tyro in 1953, it remained overwhelmingly white.

Founded in 1872 as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, Virginia Polytechnic had confirmed a powerful troops tradition from a inception. At a time Dr. Hahn took office, appearance in a college’s Corps of Cadets remained imperative for all students. But that requirement, he realized, had disheartened many impending applicants.

In his some-more than 12 years as president, Dr. Hahn combined 30 new undergraduate majors, among them art, history, philosophy, sociology, psychology and management; combined some 20 connoisseur programs; and determined a colleges of humanities and sciences, design and education.

He also oversaw a construction of some-more than dual dozen campus buildings.

In 1970, a college was awarded full university status, apropos Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a grave name to this day.

In a pierce that angry many alumni donors, Dr. Hahn separated mandatory cadet use in 1964. That year he also severed ties with Radford College and began revelation women to a unchanging tyro body.

In 1965, aided by a $100,000 grant, Dr. Hahn determined a extend module for enrollees of medium means, with many of a income earmarked for black students. The grant, from a Rockefeller Foundation, was believed to have been a initial for this purpose awarded to a Southern land-grant college.

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In an essay about a endowment that year, The New York Times wrote, “Although it would seem to be a unsure matter for a probably all-white state college in a South to ratify a module that will move in a large series of Negroes — ‘token’ formation is still a order during many Southern institutions that contingency demeanour to a state for support — Dr. Hahn declares that a try was ‘extremely good received, roughly surprisingly so,’ in a community.”

By a time Dr. Hahn left a presidency in 1974, Virginia Tech’s enrollment had scarcely tripled, to 17,400. Today, a tyro physique comprises roughly 17,000 group and 13,000 women. More than 1,100 students brand themselves as African-American, some-more than 1,500 as Hispanic and some-more than 2,500 as Asian.

The son of Thomas Marshall Hahn and a former Elizabeth Boston, Thomas Marshall Hahn Jr. was innate on Dec. 2, 1926, in Lexington, Ky. A shining student, he split association with his high propagandize prolonged before a normal graduation age because, a propagandize said, it had no some-more to learn him.

By a time he was 18, he had warranted a bachelor’s grade in production from a University of Kentucky. At 23, after dual years’ naval service, he perceived a doctorate in a margin from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Hahn assimilated a Virginia Polytechnic production expertise in 1954, apropos a dialect chairman. He left in 1959 to take a post as vanguard of humanities and sciences during what is now Kansas State University, before returning in 1962 to become, during 35, Virginia Polytechnic’s 11th president.

After withdrawal a university in 1974, Dr. Hahn became an executive clamp boss of Georgia-Pacific, a paper company. He late in 1993 as a company’s arch executive.

Dr. Hahn’s initial wife, a former Margaret Louise Lee, famous as Peggy, whom he married in 1948, died in 2009. His survivors embody dual daughters, Anne Hahn Hurst and Betty Hahn, and 3 grandchildren. His second marriage, to Jean Quible, finished in divorce; a son, William, from Dr. Hahn’s initial marriage, died before him.

In an talk with The Roanoke Times in 1991, Dr. Hahn described holding a helm of Virginia Polytechnic and glimpsing a immeasurable intensity underneath a surface.

“I saw Virginia Tech as a sleeping hulk that could be awakened,” he said. “I suspicion a time was right.”

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