Alumni Medallion recipients honored by College

by Dan Carlen on February 6, 2012

As most students were celebrating Charter Day, President Reveley joined the newly and duly appointed Chancellor Gates along with hundreds of William and Mary alumni to award three remarkable individuals with the Alumni Medallion. The award, which has been handed out every year since 1934, honors men and women for distinguishable achievements relating to their profession as well as their service to the community and nation. The award is given out by the College’s Alumni Association, and past recipients included Chancellor Gates and David Brown ‘78, the first posthumous award due to Brown’s death during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.

The first to speak was Robert Gates (‘65), who stressed the importance of alumni to help fund the College, and education in general in order help alleviate the burden on lower income families, stating that education “has gone from being a worthy investment on the part of the nation to its future generations into being a consumer good”, and that William and Mary has gone from “state funded, to state supported, to state located, to state molested.”

The ceremony then moved on to the first recipient, Joseph Agee (‘52). After receiving his undergraduate degree, Agee went on to join the Marines and fought in the Korean War. He returned to the College and received a Masters in Secondary Administration. Agee then coached five varsity sports, includin baseball, soccer, and golf, while teaching Physical Education at William and Mary for 34 years. He was the Executive Director of the William and Mary Athletic Foundation, and helped found the Order of the White Jacket, a scholarship program for W&M students who work on or off campus in the food services industry. He has received the Sullivan Award and the Olde Guard distinguished service award. The home dugout at Plumeri Park was named in his honor, and every year W&M’s golf team holds a Joe Agee Invitational Tournament.

The next recipient was Ruth Tillar (‘45).During her time at the College, she became a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, and spent her first year living with DeanL She was along with being to every college reunion and every homecoming since graduation. Tillar served as the chairperson for the Campaign for the College and a campaign chair for the W&M capital campaigns. Tillar has too many awards to count, and include the Emporia, VA Chamber of Commerce 2004 Lifetime Acheivement award and the Alumni Service Award.Tillar recalled how during her first semester at the College, the Japanese attacked the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and how she and her friends form the War Activities Board, selling stamps as war bonds, while also waving goodbye to the male college students as they left by train to go fight the war. In her concluding remarks, Tillar spoke about how the red bricked culture of the campus, which she held close to her heart, helped influence her

The final recipient was Henry “Hank” Wolf ‘64, J.D. ‘66, the previous Rector of the College’s Board of Visitors from 2009 until this past April, when current Rector Jeffrey Trammell took over the position. Wolf also served as Vice Rector from 2006 until 2009. Wolf is so beloved with in the W&M that the library of the Marshall-Wythe Law School was named in his honor. Wolf’s introduction was given by none other than President Reveley. Wolf joined the army, becoming a Judge Advocate General, then worked as a tax attorney for the IRS. Reveley refers to Wolf as among the most distinguished of distinguished alumni, following the College’s centuries long legacy of producing great men and women.

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