In Memoriam: Elizabeth Anne Flanagan, 1952-2021

Elizabeth A. Flanagan, who served as vice president for development and university relations at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University from 2000 to 2015, died at her home in the Catawba Valley on February 16. She was 68 years old.

A native of Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, Dr. Flanagan was a graduate of Bethany College in West Virginia, earning her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and sociology. She also earned a master of social work degree from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in higher education with minors in law and graduate business from the University of Virginia.

Before coming to Virginia Tech in 2000, Dr. Flanagan served as vice president in personal trust at SunTrust Bank in Richmond, Virginia, and as assistant vice president for development and director of individual and major planned gifts for the University of Virginia.

At Virginia Tech, Dr. Flanagan was the first woman to head fundraising at the university. She implemented The Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future. After a four-year quiet phase, the campaign launched with a $1 billion goal in October 2007, despite consultants recommending a more conservative target of $800 million or less. By June 30, 2011, when campaign counting stopped, $1.11 billion had been raised.

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