Education: TIMOTHY ‘TIM’ SANDS
PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA TECH, BLACKSBURG
Having previously served as acting president, executive vice president and provost of Purdue University, Sands joined Virginia Tech as its president in 2014. Since then, the land-grant university has expanded statewide, particularly in Alexandria, where it broke ground on its $1 billion Innovation Campus in 2021.
Nicknamed “the Sandsman,” in reference to the Hokies’ football anthem, Metallica’s “Enter the Sandman,” Sands is a scientist who focused his work on light-emitting diodes. One of his biggest collaborations in recent years has been with aerospace and defense contractor The Boeing Co., which has pledged $50 million to back scholarships, recruit faculty and increase diversity at the Innovation Campus. In June, Boeing, which is led by Tech alum Dave Calhoun, announced that its gift will also support a hub to connect veterans and their families with local career resources.
Back in Blacksburg, Sands also has notched significant donations that have brought forward a new Myers-Lawson School of Construction and the replacement of Tech’s 60-year-old engineering college building. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Sands chairs the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.