Virginia Tech recognizes first known Black employee, his family

On Thursday, they paid tribute to Andrew Oliver and his wife, Fannie Vaughn Oliver

Virginia Tech dedicated Vaughn-Oliver Plaza in honor of the first black employee at the university

BLACKSBURG, Va. – A plaza at Virginia Tech now pays tribute to some of the unsung heroes in the school’s history.

On Thursday, the university dedicated “Vaughn-Oliver Plaza” in honor of Andrew Oliver and his wife, Fannie Vaughn Oliver.

The plaza is located in front of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Services Building.

Andrew was the first known Black employee at Virginia Tech. His son, A.J. Oliver became the first Black person admitted to the bar in West Virginia.

A.J. later moved to Roanoke, and is believed to be the city’s first barred Black attorney.

Those who took part in Thursday’s ceremony said it’s important to recognize the people who contributed to local history.

“I think it should be done in more areas than just here on campus at Tech because there are a lot of individuals that have made contributions to things within the county,” Jessie Eaves, a retired Virginia Tech employee said.

Andrew worked as a custodian and gardener that planted some of the first trees on Tech’s campus.

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Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.