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Thomas G. Slater, Jr. '66 to Receive VMI Foundation's Distinguished Service Award

Walton M. Jeffress, Jr. ’68, the President of the VMI Foundation, has announced that the VMI Foundation’s Board of Trustees had agreed unanimously to present their highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award (DSA), to Thomas G. Slater, Jr. ’66. First presented in 1969, the DSA recognizes alumni and friends of the Institute whose dedication to the Institute and to the mission of the VMI Foundation is exceptionally commendable.   

Mr. Slater’s family has a strong VMI tradition. His father, Thomas G. Slater, graduated from VMI in 1932, and another ancestor, John F. Fletcher, graduated in 1859 and was killed in action during the Civil War.  Mr. Slater’s son, Tom III, graduated in 1990 and is a former head baseball coach at VMI.  

Like his father, Mr. Slater was a talented cadet-athlete. He played football all four years at VMI, and he lettered in 1963, 1964 and 1965. During his first class year, he was co-captain of the football team. He also received Honorable Mention All-Southern Conference and All-State Football in 1965. Mr. Slater also ran track for VMI. He was a member of the Athletic Council and the Monogram Club and served as the Monogram Club’s President during his first-class year.  

As a cadet, Slater excelled academically and was a regular on the Dean’s List his last two years. He graduated with a degree in History, and, afterward, he attended the University of Virginia’s law school, receiving his LLB in 1969. 
 He joined the Richmond-based law firm Hunton & Williams in 1969, and became a partner in 1976. He currently is the Group Head Emeritus of the Litigation, Intellectual Property, Competition, and Labor Group.  His practice focuses on complex litigation matters, and he has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America for more than 10 years.  He is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia and Virginia, and he is admitted to practice before the Fourth, Fifth and District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Mr. Slater is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation, and the Virginia Law Foundation. He is a past President of the Bar Association of the City of Richmond and served on the Executive Committee of the Virginia State Bar from 1996 to 1998.  

Mr. Slater has been active in civic affairs as well, serving as a trustee and Chairman of the Virginia Historical Society, a director of the Virginia 4-H Foundation, and president of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society. 
 Since his graduation, Mr. Slater has actively supported VMI. Joining the Richmond, Virginia chapter of the VMI Alumni Association in 1969, he was its president from 1978 to 1979. He was a member of VMI Alumni Association’s board from 1975 to 1987 and its president from 1985 to 1987. He became a trustee of the VMI Foundation in 1991, and, from 1995 to 1997, he served as that organization’s president. He was a member of the Executive Committee of VMI’s most recent capital campaign, Reveille: A Call to Excel. In 2003, he joined the VMI Board of Visitors, and he served as the President of the Board of Visitors from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2011. 

He and his wife, the former Martha (Scottie) Newell, have three children (Thomas G. Slater, III ’90, Andrew F. Slater, and Tacie Slater Norris), two stepchildren (Martha Brent Revere and Andrew Mason Brent), and seven grandchildren.  They live in Richmond, but also own Rose Hill Farm in Upperville, Virginia, which has been in Mr. Slater’s family since the 1840s. 

Mr. Slater reacted to the Foundation’s decision to present him with the DSA by saying, “When Walt Jeffress called me to tell me the news, I was highly honored and humbled. I had to also say that there is a long line of alums who deserve this award more than I do." 

“Tom has tirelessly and selflessly served the VMI Family for decades," Mr. Jeffress commented. "In his many leadership roles, including that as the President of the Board of Visitors, he has consistently displayed sound wisdom and reliable judgment. The Board of Trustees, therefore, was delighted to select him to receive the Distinguished Service Award. I look forward to presenting it to him on November 9 at the 2012 Founders Day Convocation and, thus, bringing him into the illustrious company of other DSA recipients.”