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W. B. Alwood

William Bradford Alwood was an early pioneer of pest management and fruit culture. He was referred to by his peers during his era as father of Virginia horticulture, the savior of the Virginia fruit industry, and a worldwide expert in pomology, viticulture, enology, and pest management. At Virginia Tech he is regarded as the father of our horticulture and pest management disciplines and as one of the University's greatest scientists.

The Alwood Fund

We have established the Alwood Fund to preserve the Alwood legacy and promote scholarship. Our goals are to build a memorial to Professor Alwood and the Agricultural Experiment Station at the site of the Alwood Oak and the original station building. That location is on the Drillfield across from the Alwood oak. The “Alwood Plaza” is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2012. The oak, planted by Alwood in 1895, was dedicated on October 14, 2011. The fund was also established to protect the Alwood Oak, to preserve and digitize our highly vulnerable college historical documents, to support service and outreach, and to support student scholarship. To accomplish this we need your help.

Giving to the Alwood Legacy Fund

If you're interested in preserving the history of Virginia's agricultural experiment station, the memory of its founders, the accomplishments of their era, promoting the Alwood legacy through scholarship and outreach, and protecting the Alwood Oak, you are invited to donate a tax-deductible gift to the "Alwood Fund."



In 2011, artist Jane Blevins created a special print entitled "Professor Alwood's Hokie Triumphs."  During its introduction the print was used as an incentive to encourage donations to the Alwood Fund. Although that program has ended, we continue to sell the print in exchange for donations to the Alwood Fund. The cost to purchase the print is $50, if you pick-up your print in Blacksburg or at a departmental function, off-site. If we have to send the print to you, there will be a cost for shipping and handling of $25.

The print is a beautiful representation of Professor Alwood's career at Virginia Tech. In the painting, the artist has added books representing the three departments Alwood directed during his career. The Alwood oak can be seen through a stained glass window showing the Virginia Tech Drillfield. The stained glass shows grape leaves and clusters representing W. B. Alwood's many contributions to viticulture and the Alwood grape (named in honor of Professor Alwood in 1949 by VPI horticulturist, R. C. Moore). On the books is an Albemarle Pippin apple - the variety that made Virginia famous worldwide for fruit culture. The state butterfly, the Yellow Tiger Swallowtail, can be seen in a bell jar just like the jars visible in old photographs of Alwood's laboratory. Bur oak acorns and leaves (from the Alwood Oak) can be seen in the painting along with Professor Alwood's spectacles and signature. On the desk is a framed photograph of Horticultural Hall, the original Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station building. Also shown is a ceramic crock of lead arsenic - the chemical used to control pests on fruit during the Alwood era. The color is stunning with plenty of maroon and orange for any Hokie. It is one of the most beautiful paintings in the artist's collection. The 11x14 print pops when framed with a maroon matte. A wonderful gift for a friend or a beautiful addition to your home or office.

Professor Alwood's Hokie Triumphs

"Professor Alwood's Hokie Triumphs"

Giving Online:

To give online, please go directly to the online form. On the online form, please make sure, under "Gift Information," to designate your donation on the line listed as "Other Designation,"  then type in the amount and fund name: "Alwood Fund 875250"

Giving by Check:

Checks should be written to the "Virginia Tech Foundation" with a memo to the "Alwood Fund 875250." Please mail them to Vernon Meacham at the address below.


Did you know that you can make a pledge that will allow you to spread your donation in smaller payments over multiple years (up to five)? For most people, this is the way to give - it enables you to make a significant donation without a major impact on your budget.

For more information on giving, or to mail checks, please contact:

Vernon B. Meacham, Director of Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University Development (0402), 216-D Hutcheson Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 - (540) 231-3071 -


For more information about this project, please contact:

Dr. Michael J. Weaver, Professor, Department of Entomology (0409), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061- (540) 231-6543 -


  • Dedicate and preserve the Alwood Oak (large bur oak in front of Burruss Hall planted by Professor Alwood ~1895) - dedicated 10/14/11; PROJECT COMPLETED, 2012 (preservation ongoing).
  • Build the Alwood Plaza - to honor Professor Alwood* and the history of the station; stonework completed, 8/1/12; plaque completed, PROJECT COMPLETED, 2012, DEDICATED, 8/13/13.
  • Support a unique annual outreach event (Alwood Days - Hokie Bugfest) associated with W. B. Alwood Entomological Society; held 10/15/11; 2012 Hokie Bugfest - held, 10/19/13. We have thus far attracted over 10,000 people to event. ONGOING. Next Hokie Bugfest, 10/14.
  • Preserve the history/archives of the station history, college, Virginia agriculture, and Alwood era (1859 to 1946). We are working to secure space in the college to locate a museum dedicated to preserving college history. This showplace would be open to the public.ONGOING.
  • Promote scholarship and learning in the spirit of Professor Alwood's accomplishments in research, teaching and outreach; ONGOING.


*In a letter to Professor Alwood (February 3, 1927), VPI President Julian Burruss noted that,"The splendid service which you rendered this institution will ever be remembered and it is my hope that some day your name will be honored in some permanent manner, which will remain here for all time to let those who come after us know of your part in the making of this institution." The plaza (to be erected at the site of the original experiment station) will provide a place to sit, relax, enjoy the Alwood Oak,, and learn the history of the station and its founders.

Copyright, 2013, M. J. Weaver. All rights reserved and protected under the Berne Convention Implementation Act, amending the 1976 Copyright Act to conform to most of the provisions of the Berne Convention.

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