These alumni are recognized for their work in education.


Mark Embree

Mark Embree (mathematics and computer science 1996) became Virginia Tech’s second Rhodes Scholar in 1996. Embree is formerly a professor of computational and applied mathematics at Rice University and is now a professor of mathematics in the Division of Computational Modeling and Data Analytics major in Virginia Tech's College of Science.

Mahmoud M'd Abu Quadais

Mahmoud M'd Abu Quadais (M.S. education administration 1993; Ph.D. 1994) and a colleague founded the Hashemite University in Jordan. Named for the Jordanian king’s family, the university began holding classes in 1995. The first class graduated in 1999. Quadais was the first dean of student affairs.

Elsa Murano

Elsa Murano (food science and technology M.S. 1987, Ph.D. 1990) served as the vice chancellor and dean of the Department of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University and then as president of the university. Prior to that, she was undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture during part of President George W. Bush’s administration, where she was responsible for the oversight and direction for the management of the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Sami Al-Mudhaffar

Sami Al-Mudhaffar (Ph.D. biochemistry 1967) is the minister of higher education in Iraq, overseeing the revamping of the country’s national educational system. Al-Mudhaffar returned to Iraq after completing his Ph.D. and became a lecturer on the teaching and research faculty in the College of Science at the University of Basrah. He became president of Baghdad University in 2003 but was forced to resign by the minister of higher education at that time. In February 2006, a car bomb hit his convoy, killing one civilian and injuring three others, including two of his bodyguards.

James B. "J.B." Jones

James B. "J.B." Jones (mechanical engineering 1944) earned national recognition in 1991, three years after his retirement, when the American Society of Mechanical Engineers presented him the James Harry Potter Gold Medal for contributions in thermodynamics. After earning his master’s and Ph.D. at Purdue, he taught there from 1945 to 1964. In 1964, Jones returned to Blacksburg, where he headed the Department of Mechanical Engineering for 19 years and was named the Lingan S. Randolph Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Edwin Broun Fred

Edwin Broun Fred (M.S. agriculture 1907) was president of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. During his 13-year tenure, enrollment tripled, the faculty nearly doubled, the annual operating budget quadrupled, and the university had its biggest building boom in campus history. In 1947, he received the Medal of Merit for his part in the field of biological warfare.

Julian Ashby Burruss

Julian Ashby Burruss (civil engineering 1898) was the first Tech alumnus to become president of his alma mater. He served 26 years, longer than any other president in school history. Through his efforts, women were admitted to Virginia Tech and the military requirement was reduced from four years to two. He was also the first president of the Normal and Industrial School for Women (now James Madison University) in Harrisonburg, Va. Each campus has a Burruss Hall that honors his memory.