Stepping forward to serve: Record gift to Virginia Tech is in keeping with Heywood Fralin’s family legacy
When Virginia Tech first asked him to serve in early 1993, Heywood Fralin didn’t hesitate.
His older brother, Horace Fralin ’48, a longtime Hokie, successful leader in education and philanthropy, and new member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, had died from cancer after attending only one meeting.
That’s when Heywood Fralin received a telephone call from then-Virginia Tech President James D. McComas.
“Jim called me and he said ‘I have a crazy question for you.’ That’s how he worded it,” said Fralin, who had broken with his two older brothers by attending the University of Virginia instead of Virginia Tech. “He asked me if the governor were willing to appoint me to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors for Horace’s unexpired term, would I be willing to serve. I said, ‘Jim, if you’re crazy enough to ask, I’m crazy enough to serve.’”
On that day in 1993, Fralin demonstrated his commitment to the university motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) by agreeing to serve out the remainder of his late brother’s term.
Now, in 2018, Fralin is again demonstrating his commitment to serve by making the largest ever gift to Virginia Tech. Along with the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust, Fralin and his wife, Cynthia, have committed $50 million to support biomedical research at the newly named Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, part of the expanding Virginia Tech Carilion Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke.
Read the rest of the article here from VT News.