Plaza Named in Honor of First Black Virginia Tech Employee and Family
October 1, 2021
The plaza at the entrance of the Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building has been named the Vaughn–Oliver Plaza to honor the local Black community whose members contributed to the university. Andrew Jackson Oliver, born a slave, worked as a janitor on campus beginning in the 1870s, when the university first opened; he is the first known Black employee at Virginia Tech. He lived on campus with his wife, Fannie Vaughn Oliver. The Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building stands adjacent to the Blacksburg neighborhood called New Town, which was home to many Black men and women who worked at the university between 1880 and 1960. The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a resolution to name the plaza at its June meeting.