Professor 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," "savior of the Virginia fruit industry," and a worldwide expert in pomology, viticulture, enology, and pest management. Professor Alwood started the Virginia State Horticultural Society in 1894 with the growers of Albemarle County, and provided guidance to that organization's success throughout his lifetime. His contributions to viticulture and enology were not only felt worldwide, but he was a key figure in Virginia wine production prior to Prohibition. His research established that American wines, and particularly the Norton variety, were competitive on a world market. Today the Norton grape is making a comeback in Virginia. It was Professor Alwood's research that established Norton as a very special and productive variety unique to Virginia. 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. On October 14, 2011, Virginia Tech dedicated the bur oak on the drill field in front of Burruss Hall to Professor Alwood. On that date we initiated an effort to build the "Alwood Plaza," a memorial to Professor Alwood, the agricultural experiment station, the tree, and life at VPI during the Alwood era. Having reached that goal we are now seeking $50,000 to endow a student scholarship and to continue with our efforts to preserve the Alwood legacy.
Copyright, 2011, 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.
The Alwood Plaza was dedicated on August 13, 2013. It was built on the lawn of Williams Hall, across the street from the Alwood bur oak. This is the site of the first Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. The memorial is a tribute to Professor Alwood, the station, and the history of the Alwood era. Our goal is to raise funds to support the total project (Alwood Plaza, Alwood Days Bugfest Outreach Project, tree preservation, archive preservation, and student scholarships) continues.
For a limited time we are providing an incentive for giving to donors to the W. B. Alwood Fund. For those donating $50 or more, you will be given a special print by artist, Jane Blevins. The print was created to celebrate the Alwood legacy and the dedication of the Alwood Oak. It shows the Virginia Tech Drillfield, the oak, and icons of the Alwood era.
If you are interested in preserving the history of
Virginia's agricultural experiment station, the memory of its
founders and the accomplishments of their era, preserving the Alwood
legacy through scholarship and outreach, and protecting the future of
the Alwood Oak, you can now give a tax-deductible gift to the "William Bradford Alwood
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, 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 - firstname.lastname@example.org.