Nonprofits/Philanthropy: ELIZABETH A. McCLANAHAN
CEO, VIRGINIA TECH FOUNDATION INC., BLACKSBURG
McClanahan says her first year as CEO of the Virginia Tech Foundation has illuminated for her the spirit of the school motto of Ut Prosim, or “That I May Serve.”
“I see it, not just embraced as a motto and spoken often, but also embodied daily in the lives of VT students, faculty, staff, administration and philanthropic alumni,” she says.
Created in 1948, the VT Foundation manages the university’s $1.69 billion endowment and assets of roughly $2.6 billion. It has an extensive real estate portfolio and encourages economic development by fostering partnerships that enable regional projects like a planned integrated wet-lab and coworking site for researchers and entrepreneurs.
McClanahan is a retired Virginia Supreme Court Justice with a law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. She serves on several boards, including the Virginia College Fund and the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. She previously served as president and dean of the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, from 2019 to 2021.
Her Buchanan County upbringing grounds her worldview, she says, adding that, “The spirit of community in a small town produces lifelong trusted relationships, friendships, hope, guts and determination.”
FIRST JOB: Mac Construction Inc. office worker, scale-house operator and tractor-trailer driver