Jacob “Jake” A. Lutz III '78 has been acutely aware of the impact of Virginia Tech research for virtually his entire life.
“Virginia Tech has world-class faculty across all disciplines, and this research has had an impact in Virginia, across the country and around the world,” Lutz said. “Growing up as the son of a research faculty member, I saw it from that perspective. I've seen this in leadership roles at Tech, serving on the Board of Visitors, including as Chancellor and as a member of the Virginia Tech Foundation Board and Alumni Association Board.
Lutz is now making his impact on research and researchers at Virginia Tech by establishing the Jacob A. Lutz III Awards for Distinguished Scholars Foundation.
“Research is an important part of Virginia Tech's land-grant mission, and knowing the university's award structure, I wanted to do something that would reward and encourage faculty doing this world-class work,” Lutz said.
Out of 1.15 million $10,000 will fund the annual $10,000 Jacob A. Lutz III Presidential Research Awards to four faculty members, one in each disciplinary category. Each Lutz Award will recognize sustained, significant contributions to research and creative scholarship throughout a faculty career in one of the following categories:
- Science, Engineering and Technology
- Health and Life Sciences
- Humanities and social sciences
- Art and design
“We are extremely grateful for Jake's commitment to supporting the impactful research, innovation and discovery that Virginia Tech faculty do every day,” said President Tim Sands. “The scope of these awards illustrates our breadth of experience, our interdisciplinary approach and our commitment to our motto, Please (That I may serve).
The Lutz Awards were established for the second year in a row as Virginia Tech's externally funded research awards and expenditures increased by more than 10 percent.
“This is a very exciting time for Virginia Tech research, and the announcement of these awards makes it even better,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Research and Innovation Officer Dan Sui. “Not only will they honor the tireless efforts of our researchers, but they will also provide critical support as we continue to enhance our land-grant mission in the coming years.”
Recipients must have three years of tenure at Virginia Tech and the rank of associate professor or higher. Prize funds are unlimited, including personal and professional use.
Lutz said he worked with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost to develop categories that would encompass the broad body of work of researchers at Virginia Tech and ensure that all areas of faculty research are eligible.
“Our faculty is at the forefront of innovative research across a range of topics and disciplines,” said Cyril Clarke, executive vice president and provost. “The Lutz Awards recognize the importance of this mission and will help inspire high-impact interdisciplinary work for years to come.”
“Bacon fanatic. Social media enthusiast. Music practitioner. Internet scholar. Incurable travel advocate. Wannabe web junkie. Coffeeaholic. Alcohol fanatic.”