BLACKSBURG, Va., May 8, 2014 – Wayne Robinson of Greensboro, N.C., and Curry Roberts of Richmond are the recipients of Virginia Tech’s 2014 Alumni Distinguished Service Awards.
Individuals are awarded the Alumni Distinguished Service Award in recognition for their contributions to the university. The awards will be presented at spring commencement.
Robinson is the chief diversity practice leader with Wyndham Mills International, a global leader in placing talented executives. He works with some of the leading and largest corporations in the nation in regards to diversity, talent identification, recruiting, and onboarding. Robinson also serves as the senior pastor of the New Millennium Christian Center, in Greensboro, N.C., where he focuses on spiritual education, counseling, and mentoring for those of all ages.
Robinson arrived at Virginia Tech in 1976. He played on the basketball team – alternating between the positions of power forward and center – and helped lead the team to the 1979 Metro Conference Championship. He earned his bachelor’s in finance in 1980 from the Pamplin College of Business, and was picked in the second round of the NBA draft of that year by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Robinson was traded to the Detroit Pistons and played in 81 games during his one season with the NBA. He went on to play seven seasons of professional basketball in Europe. In 2003, he was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. He was named an ACC Basketball Legend in 2011.
Robinson’s record of service to the university community includes membership on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and chairing both the Multicultural Alumni Advisory Board and the Virginia Tech Foundation Board. He established a scholarship to support the academic endeavors of underrepresented, non-athletic students, which is now part of the Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative.
Robinson's wife, Renee, is also a Virginia Tech graduate, having earned her bachelor's in human nutrition and foods in 1980 from the university's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Roberts is a principal with Hirschler Fleischer Consulting LLC, a corporate-affairs consulting firm that helps clients with strategic planning, business management, communications, and government relations. His 30 years of professional experience include leadership roles in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. That includes serving as the president of the State Fair of Virginia, as CEO of the parent company of PM Beef Group, and as chief operating officer of Morven Farms.
Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles named Roberts secretary of economic development in 1986. As secretary, he was responsible for the oversight of 15 state agencies, covering agriculture, ports, industrial development, tourism, occupational safety and health, and the arts.
Roberts’ record of service to the university community includes membership on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, where he served as president; the Virginia Tech Foundation Board; the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Leadership Council; the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Advisory Council and Teaching Hospital Advisory Board; and the Dean’s Roundtable for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. He is a member of the university’s Legacy Society – a distinction for those who make planned gifts.
Roberts earned his bachelor’s in political science in 1980 from what is now the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. He received an Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 1989. He has served on the Virginia State University Board of Visitors. He serves as vice chairman of the board of directors for Southern States Cooperative Inc. and as chair of the construction committee for the Virginia Public Safety Foundation.
Roberts’ son, Garrett, is a 2013 graduate of Virginia Tech. His daughter, Hayden, is a member of the class of 2015.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.
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