The gift, the largest in the university's 146-year history, will support the recruitment and retention of top-tier biomedical researchers at the newly renamed Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. Scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2020, the institute will be part of the expanding VTC Health Sciences and Technology Campus, which employed nearly 1,700 people in 2017 — a number that is expected to double by 2026. When fully realized, the campus will draw on the work of the Fralin Institute, medical education at the VTC School of Medicine, and healthcare delivery and clinical training at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke to transform the way health care in the region is delivered.
Heywood Fralin is a former member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors; a former rector of the board of visitors at his alma mater, the University of Virginia; and the current chair of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
"The Fralin family's remarkable generosity highlights the growth and success of the VTC Health Sciences and Technology Campus, its important biomedical research, and extraordinary faculty," said Virginia Tech president Tim Sands. "This historic and inspiring gift to name the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute will broaden our research profile dramatically and elevate Roanoke's ability to compete and thrive in a knowledge-based economy. Private support such as this significantly advances our regional and global impact as we bring together research, medical education, and clinical care through the VTC Academic Health Center."