Virginia Tech today dedicated and named its new garden pavilion in honor of Peggy Lee Hahn, wife of T. Marshall Hahn, president emeritus of Virginia Tech.
“Much of what the university is today is a tribute to Dr. Hahn’s vision and his devotion to Virginia Tech,” said Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. “At every step, Peggy was there with him, supporting his efforts and cementing relationships with hundreds of people, both on campus and across the commonwealth. He credits her with playing a crucial role in forging lasting and close friendships with so many persons important to the university. And today, we honor her with this new facility which will ever remind us of, not only her devotion to Virginia Tech, but to her grace and beauty and her life-long love of the land.”
The pavilion and the garden where it is located are named in honor of Peggy Lee Hahn, an enthusiastic gardener, to recognize her outstanding service as Virginia Tech's first lady from 1962 to 1974. The Hahns pledged a $1 million estate gift and $475,000 in start-up funds for the expansion of the garden in 2004.
“Peggy and I are pleased we could provide for the expansion of the garden and the construction of the garden pavilion, which will add a dimension to ways the garden can be enjoyed and utilized,” said T. Marshall Hahn.
The 2,500-square-foot pavilion, located at the south end of the Hahn Horticulture Garden located on Washington Street on Virginia Tech’s campus, will serve as a multi-purpose special events and educational center.
The building features a 660-square-foot multi-purpose room for staging weddings, other garden events, or for holding educational workshops or garden seminars. French doors open to an ample porch and the expansive tent lawn. The fully climate-controlled building has wireless Internet access, a small galley kitchen, office space, and restrooms, including a small changing room accessible from the women’s restroom.
“The pavilion is a tremendous asset to the garden, the college, the university, and the community. It provides much needed space to offer expanded educational opportunities and will enhance the quality of experience for those attending events at the garden,” said Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In addition to university use, the public will also be able to reserve the pavilion for special events and meeting functions.
“Not only will the Peggy Lee Hahn Garden Pavilion enhance the garden’s educational use, it will dramatically increase the facility’s public presence, as well as its capacity for special events and community outreach. These enhancements are sure to lead to even greater use for, and appreciation of, this remarkable place, said Elizabeth A. Flanagan, vice president for development and university relations.
“The garden has been growing since 1984, when the horticulture faculty first proposed the teaching and display garden. With the dedication of this garden pavilion and the opportunities that it will afford, we move into a new era for the garden. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to Dr. and Mrs. Hahn,” said Holly Scoggins, associate professor and director of the Hahn Horticulture Garden.
Margaret Louise "Peggy Lee" was born on a family dairy farm in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. She was one of seven children of Travis Taylor Lee, a dairy farmer and rural mail carrier, and Nolie Dillon Lee, who in 1965 was named Virginia’s Mother of the Year. Peggy Hahn is credited with invaluable support of T. Marshall Hahn’s presidency with her warm and friendly manner and extraordinary skills as a hostess. The Hahns hosted hundreds of lunches and dinners in their home for faculty, students, alumni, potential donors, and political leaders.
T. Marshall Hahn presided over many of the university’s most significant 20th century transformations. Dozens of new buildings were built and enrollment grew to more than 17,000 students. During the 12 years of his presidency, Virginia Tech was transformed from a small, primarily male, military college to a major comprehensive, co-educational research university.
Architect Donald Harwood of Hill Studio of Roanoke designed and Thor Construction of Roanoke constructed the building, in just 10 months.
Plans are being developed for the next component of the garden expansion — a meadow garden that will grace the entire hillside leading up to the pavilion from Duck Pond Drive. Construction should begin in the fall of 2006.
Ranked 11th in agricultural research expenditures by the National Science Foundation, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers students the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading agricultural scientists. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives students a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. The college is a national leader in incorporating technology, biotechnology, computer applications, and other recent scientific advances into its teaching program.