T. Marshall Hahn Jr.
T. Marshall Hahn Jr., of Blacksburg, Virginia, came to Virginia Tech in 1954 as head of the Department of Physics. In 1962, at age 35, he became Virginia Tech’s president, leading the university until 1975.
As president, Hahn engineered Virginia Tech’s evolution from a college to a major research university. Among his many notable achievements, he formed the College of Arts and Sciences, laying the foundation for the existing College of Science. In addition, he made the university co-ed and the Corps of Cadets voluntary, and he spurred record enrollment and unprecedented growth in the student body, degree programs, faculty, research, and physical plant.
Following his tenure as president of Virginia Tech, Hahn served as chairman and chief executive officer of Georgia Pacific from 1983 to 1993. He was named CEO of the Year for the Forest Products and Lumber Industry by The Wall Street Transcript for seven years. In addition, he was recognized as “Top 10 Best Executives: Big Business Category—The Gallagher Report” in 1986 and 1988.
An enthusiastic supporter of the university and the College of Science, Hahn has led by example through his philanthropy. Two academic buildings on the Virginia Tech campus carry his name. The academic halls, dedicated in 1990 and 2009, are home, respectively, to the Chemistry and Physics departments in the College of Science. His commitment to the university also includes contributions for the expansion of the horticulture gardens and the construction of a pavilion on the site that was named for his late wife, Peggy, in 2004. The Basketball Practice Center also carries the name of Hahn Hurst and is evidence of three generations of support by the Hahn family.
Hahn is a member of Virginia Tech’s President Circle, a charter member of the Ut Prosim Society, and a member of the Legacy Society. Hahn earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, graduating with highest honors. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy and was a physicist for the U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory. After his Navy service, Hahn earned a doctorate in physics in 1949 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.