R-MC Joins Virginia Tech in Mourning President Emeritus Charles Steger Jr.

May 07, 2018


Charles StegerRandolph-Macon College joins Virginia Tech in mourning the loss of R-MC Trustee Charles W. Steger Jr., Ph.D., President Emeritus of Virginia Tech. Steger died May 6, 2018.

"President Steger joined the Randolph-Macon Board of Trustees in May 2014, serving on the Academic Affairs and Investment Committees with great distinction," says Randolph-Macon College President Robert R. Lindgren.

"We are indebted to him for sharing his extraordinary vision and unique insight gleaned from his extraordinary higher education career. President Steger was not only a truly valuable colleague, but also a special friend. I shall continue to be enormously inspired by his tremendous legacy at Virginia Tech and throughout higher education, including here at Randolph-Macon. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife, Janet, his sons Christopher and David, and the entire Steger family."

A Transformative Era
Steger, a remarkable leader in higher education, served as the 15th president of Virginia Tech from 2000 to 2014. He led the university through a highly transformative era.

Under his leadership, Virginia Tech rose to national prominence and gained an international reputation as a top research university. During his tenure, Virginia Tech grew in enrollment from 28,000 to 31,000, increased graduate enrollment by 12 percent, expanded its research footprint by 250 percent, formed a school of biomedical engineering, created a public-private school of medicine, and constructed the Moss Arts Center and the Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington.

Steadfast Leader
To accommodate this exceptional growth and innovation, Virginia Tech built 40 major buildings and raised more than $1 billion in private funding while Steger served as president. Steger’s powerful vision for Virginia Tech and its critical role in the public higher education landscape in Virginia was also widely respected and supported by the Virginia General Assembly and the Virginia Congressional delegation.

Steger's calm, steady hand was also a beacon of strength during the horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007.

Steger led Virginia Tech to enter the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004—a long sought-after change that had a remarkable impact on the institution's athletics programs, student-athletes, and alumni and Hokie fans. The Virginia Tech football team won four conference titles in the first eight years of ACC play.

A Hokie Through and Through
Steger was a Hokie through and through, earning his bachelor's degree in 1970 and master's degree in 1971, both in architecture, and his Ph.D. in environmental sciences and engineering in 1978, all at Virginia Tech. His career at Virginia Tech began in 1976 as a faculty member; he went on to serve as a dean, acting vice-president for Public Service, and vice-president for Development and University Relations before becoming president in 2000.

A True Visionary
Steger chaired the Virginia Council of Presidents for two terms, and his visionary leadership was recognized by five Virginia governors who appointed him to boards on higher education, international education, homeland security, and information technology.

When he retired as president in 2014, he continued to work in higher education as the executive director of the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience, which works to study urbanization and regional development through university research and community partnerships.

A service to commemorate the life of President Emeritus Steger will be held on Monday, May 14 at 1:30 p.m. in the Virginia Tech Moss Arts Center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. A reception will be held immediately following the service. Overflow seating will be available in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center.