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Presidents of Virginia Tech

Julian Ashby Burruss

September 1, 1919-July 1, 1945

Julian Ashby Burruss. --- Eighth president, 1919-45. Born Aug. 16, 1876, in Richmond, son of Woodson Cheadle and Cora Emmett McDowell Burruss. Entered V.A.M.C. in fall of 1894 and received B.S. in civil engineering in 1898. As a student, was editor of 1898 Bugle, captain of Battery E, and active in other student organizations. Also received A.M. degree from Columbia in 1906 after studying at Richmond and Harvard. Obtained Ph.D. from University of Chicago in 1921. Received honorary LL.D. from Hampden-Sydney in 1937. First educational post was as an instructor at Normal College, Waleska, Ga. Also instructed at Searcy (Ark.) Female Institute and Speers-Langford Military Academy before returning to Richmond in 1901 as principal of the Leigh School. Made director of manual arts for Richmond public schools in 1904. Was elected first president of Harrisonburg State Teachers College (now Madison College) in 1908 and laid out grounds there. Was elected from Harrisonburg to V.P.I. presidency in 1919 at age 43. Married Rachel Cleveland Ebbert of Covington, Ky., in 1907. Had one son and one daughter. Named president emeritus on his retirement in 1945. Died Jan. 4, 1947, in Staunton at age 70.

Source: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Historical Data Book: Centennial Editon, ed.Jenkins Mikell Robertson, Bulletin of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, vol. 65, no. 4, 70-1.
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Last updated July 28, 1998