Virginia Wesleyan University Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong H'16, CEO and General Counsel of Birdsong Peanuts, was honored on March 22 at the Junior Achievement Hampton Roads Business Hall of Fame event. The awards gala recognized his lifetime achievements and celebrated him as one of Hampton Roads’ most visionary business leaders. Other honorees included Deborah DiCroce, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, W. Taylor Reveley, III, President of William & Mary, and Bob Sasser, Executive Chairman of Dollar Tree.
Junior Achievement is the nation's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Its programs—which focus on work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy—ignite young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st Century.
George Birdsong has been affiliated with the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees since 1989. He served as Board Chair from 2007-2010 and was later designated as Trustee Emeritus. In 2016, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University and served as keynote speaker during the institution’s inaugural Founders Day. He and his wife Sue, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation played a major role in the University’s founding. Birdsong Hall, an original building in Bray Village, was dedicated to the Birdsong family in 1968, and a plaque in the building distinguishes the Birdsongs as dedicated Methodists whose generosity helped establish Virginia Wesleyan.
Birdsong Peanuts and the Birdsongs have made a number of significant gifts to the University throughout its history. The Birdsong Community Services Endowment Fund was formed in 1995 to provide support for Virginia Wesleyan’s acclaimed community services program. The Birdsong Corporation/George and Sue Birdsong Endowed Scholarship was also established to provide assistance for deserving students. In 2015, the University dedicated VWU’s Birdsong Field in honor of the Birdsong family to celebrate their generous commitment to the facility. The following year, the Birdsong School of Social Science was established with recognition and deep appreciation for contributions by Harvard Birdsong, a charter member of the Board of Trustees, George and Sue Birdsong, Thomas Birdsong, III, and his wife Jane, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation.