The William & Mary Board of Visitors today unanimously elected alumnus Henry C. Wolf, retired chief financial officer of Norfolk Southern, as the College's next Rector. Wolf ('64, J.D. '66) takes the post on July 1, 2009.
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Wolf will succeed Michael K. Powell ('85), who will step down from the Board of Visitors this summer following his second term on the Board, including two terms as Rector. John W. Gerdelman ('75) was elected Wolf's successor as Vice Rector and Janet Brashear ('82) was elected Secretary of the Board. Brasher will succeed Suzann W. Matthews ('71), who also served two terms as an officer. The Rector serves as chair of the College's Board of Visitors.
"My term on the Board will end in June as will my tenure as Rector. It has been a great pleasure to serve my College and work with such exceptional colleagues and friends these past seven years," Powell said. "It is also time for someone else to have an opportunity to lead and I know Hank, John and Janet are the right team to work closely with President Reveley and this college community to take William & Mary to the next level."
Added William & Mary President Taylor Reveley, "Michael Powell has served this College with extraordinary vision and effectiveness as a Board member and its Rector. He is a cherished son of the College who will remain a vital part of William & Mary even after his term on the Board comes to end. Hank Wolf, John Gerdelman and Janet Brashear are equally dedicated to William & Mary. I look forward very much to working with them in the years ahead. Let me also salute the exceptional service of Bobbie Ukrop ('61), who attended her final meeting after two terms on the Board. Her commitment to the College sets the bar."
Wolf, of Norfolk, Va., has a long connection with the College and academics. He received a bachelor's degree in economics in 1964 and in 1966 received his law degree from the William & Mary Law School. Wolf was first appointed to the Board of Visitors - William & Mary's governing body - in 2003. He was reappointed in 2007 and has served as vice rector since 2006. Wolf is also an emeritus member of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Council and a former member of the Board of Visitors at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
In addition to his time on the Board of Visitors, Wolf remains a committed alumnus of William & Mary. In 2006, the William & Mary Law School named its renovated and expanded, state-of-the-art law library as the Wolf Law Library. In 2006, the law school also recognized Wolf with an honorary membership in Order of the Coif, a national honor society that recognizes intellectual and professional accomplishment.
Wolf will succeed Powell, who has served three years as Rector and was the first African-American to serve in the post in the College's history. Wolf currently serves as chair of the finance committee and vice chair of the executive and administration committees. When he takes the post in July, Wolf will become the first Jewish Rector in the history of the College.
"This is a truly a talented and committed Board and I am humbled to be elected as its next Rector," Wolf said. "Serving as Vice Rector has been an inspiring experience and I hope to continue the great work made possible by Michael Powell's leadership and look forward to working even closer with President Reveley. I am truly honored."
Following a career that spanned more than 34 years at Norfolk Southern Corporation, Wolf retired in 2007 as the company's vice chairman and for 14 years as its chief financial officer. Prior to joining Norfolk Southern in 1973, Wolf was a law clerk for the United States Tax Court and an attorney for the Internal Revenue Service. He also served four years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. Wolf is currently on the boards of AGL Resources, Inc., and Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. He also serves as trustee of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. In addition to his William & Mary degrees, Wolf also holds an M.B.A. from Louisiana State University and a Master's of Law (L.L.M.) degree from Georgetown University School of Law. In 1992, he attended the Harvard Advanced Management Program.
Gerdelman received his B.S. in chemistry from William & Mary in 1975. He is currently the Executive Chairman and one of the founders of Intelliden, a leading provider of software solutions. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of USA.NET and AboveNet. He also served as the president of the network and information technology division of MCI Telecommunications Corporation. Gerdelman, who also served seven years in the U.S. Navy as a carrier pilot, is a former member of the State Council for Higher Education and the Northern Virginia Technology Council, and is currently a member of the boards of Sycamore Networks, BROCADE Corporation, and PROXIM. In 2001 he was presented with the Alumni Service Award by the William & Mary Alumni Association and in 2005 he was awarded the Alumni Medallion. Gerdelman was appointed to the Board in 2003 and reappointed to a second term in 2007.
Brashear graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in government, philosophy and French from William & Mary in 1982. She received her MBA from Harvard University in 1987. In 2007 she joined Sanford Bernstein as vice president and senior analyst for U.S. Gaming, Lodging, and Leisure. From 1987 to 1999 she was executive vice president for strategy of Marriott International. Following a planned sabbatical for consulting and project work, Brashear was executive vice president for strategy at AMERIGROUP Corporation from 2005 to 2007. Brashear is a former member of the Board of Trustees of The Langley School as well as a former trustee of the William and Mary School of Business. She served on The Fund for William & Mary Board, her 20th Reunion Gift Committee and as Class Agent. Brashear was appointed to the Board of Visitors in 2004 and reappointed to a second term in 2008.