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Honorary Degrees

Nine honorary degrees have been awarded in the history of the university. John M McBryde, fifth president, received the first one, a Doctor of Science, in 1907. Col. Richard Henry Jordan received the honorary degree of Civil Engineer (C.E.) in 1919 “for distinguished service on the construction of the Panama Canal.” Lawrence Priddy, class of 1897, who helped raise funds to build both the YMCA Building and War Memorial Gymnasium, received the honorary degree Doctor of Commercial Science in 1929. In 1987 the honorary Doctor of Letters was presented to both Robert B. Pamplin Sr. and Robert B. Pamplin Jr. for outstanding service to and financial support of Virginia Tech, and an honorary Doctor of Science was presented to T. Marshall Hahn Jr. for his role in converting Virginia Tech from a small college to a major research university during his presidency. In 2001 an honorary bachelor’s degree was awarded to Robert B. Pamplin Jr. In 2002, Clifton C. Garvin Jr., a member of the Class of 1943, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree for outstanding professional achievements, leadership, and support of Virginia Tech. In 2016, Irving Linwood Peddrew III, the first African American student to attend Virginia Tech and the first to attend any historically all-white four-year public institution in the 11 former states of the Confederacy, received an honorary bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.