UVA Wise Honors UVA Board Member for Contributions to Southwest Virginia Campus

April 17, 2024
Donna P. Henry, left, Tom DePasquale, right

UVA Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry, left, presents UVA Board of Visitors member Tom DePasquale with the Crockett Award to honor DePasquale’s work to strengthen ties between the schools. (Photo by Jay Huron)

Tom DePasquale heard some students at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise were dropping out of school, not because of academic struggles or tuition costs, but for common financial stressors: car repairs, medical expenses, rising rent.

So, he established the Chancellor’s Fund for Success that students could tap to cover unexpected expenses and keep them in school.

“It’s a way to facilitate these emergency decisions that are so important, but generally need small dollars,” DePasquale, a UVA Board of Visitors member who serves on the board’s Committee on the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, said. “If you can get the issue out of the way and you can keep a student here at college, what a great deal. It is a wonderful investment.”

UVA Wise officials said the fund represents DePasquale’s “greatest impact” on the college, tucked into Virginia’s Southwest corner and home to fewer than 2,000 students. The campus, in the town of Wise, is about a five-hour drive from UVA’s Grounds in Charlottesville.

Final Exercises 2024, Learn More
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Last week, for DePasquale’s dedication to UVA Wise and for his commitment to strengthening the ties between the two schools, he received the Crockett Award, one of the college’s highest honors. UVA Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry bestowed the award at the school’s Board of Visitors meeting last week. 

“Mr. DePasquale has been one of the greatest ambassadors for UVA Wise during his tenure on the Board of Visitors and has served with distinction on the BOV’s Committee on Wise,” Henry said during the presentation. “He is so deserving of this award. I appreciate Tom’s diligent prodding to ensure that there’s no time for me to rest on my laurels. And for that, I appreciate the opportunity to recognize you.”

Tom DePasquale speaks at podium

The UVA Wise chancellor said DePasquale, who will leave his position on the UVA Board of Visitors in June after two terms, “has been one of the greatest ambassadors for UVA Wise.” (Photo by Jay Huron)

The award is fashioned from a stone from Crockett Hall, one of the two original buildings when the institution was called Clinch Valley College. The honor, established in 1995, is named for Samuel R. Crockett Jr. who, in 1954, played a key role in creating a division of UVA in Wise.

“It’s a really meaningful award because it’s a little ‘thank-you’ for what was a pleasure to do,” DePasquale said. “This was never expected. This was a work of pure pleasure, because the people here are that good.”

DePasquale, a 1982 graduate of UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce, has served on the UVA Board of Visitors almost eight years. Appointed by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2016 and later reappointed by former Gov. Ralph Northam to a second term, DePasquale will leave the board in June. 

Previous Crockett Award recipients include UVA President Jim Ryan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer “J.J.” Davis Wagner, Vice President for Advancement Mark Luellen, Vice President for Communications and Chief Marketing Officer David Martel, Senior Vice President for Operations and State Government Relations Colette Sheehy and Deputy University Counsel Barry Meek.

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