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William E. Hassinger Jr.


William E. Hassinger Jr., of Greensboro, North Carolina,earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Virginia Tech in 1950. Following graduation, Hassinger joined Duke University as a lab assistant and then served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954. In 1958, he took over Hassinger Wholesale Company Inc., a provider of building materials in Greensboro, North Carolina, and part of the larger Hassinger Organization. Hassinger remained as president until his retirement in 2002.

A person of extraordinary curiosity, Hassinger loves to read and discuss new ideas and their impact on the next generation, particularly in the fields of science and mathematics. Inspired by the college’s vision for interdisciplinary research and programs, he understands that scientific disciplines, such as physics and chemistry, are often so blended together that it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. It is this keen insight that prompted him to establish the Davy-Far-aday Scholarship in the College of Science, named in honor of world-renowned scientists Humphry Davy and Michael Faraday, to encourage interdisciplinary learning and research in the college and emphasize the importance of the student-mentor relationship.

A long-time friend of the College of Science, Hassinger has made significant contributions in support of its talented students and faculty. He was instrumental in establishing the scholarship to commemorate Virginia Tech alumnus and Nobel laureate Robert Richardson; the annual award supports undergraduate students in physics. In the years that followed, Hassinger endowed a graduate fellowship as well as a senior faculty fellowship, both in physics. More recently, he established the L.C. Hassinger Senior Faculty Fellowship in Nanoscience, in honor of his grandfather, as a way to recognize an outstanding faculty member whose innovative research and teaching will bring national and international prominence to the College of Science and its nanoscience program.

Hassinger is a member of Virginia Tech’s Ut Prosim Society President’s Circle.