On Sept. 11, the Association of University Real Estate Officials (AUREO) presented W&M Real Estate Foundation Executive Director Nancy Buchanan with the Lessenger Award, the organization’s highest honor.
“It took me a few minutes to realize that they were saying my name,” Buchanan said. “It was a total surprise. I was flabbergasted.”
Buchanan is the first executive director of the W&M Real Estate Foundation, which was incorporated in 2006. She received the award in recognition of her commitment and outstanding contributions to AUREO and the higher education community and in thanks for many years of leadership and devoted service to the association and its members.
The award also serves to recognize her contributions to the W&M Real Estate Foundation’s mission of developing real properties in support of the College’s educational mission.
Among the most notable of these contributions were the fall 2011 opening of Tribe Square, a combination student apartment complex and retail dining area on Richmond Road, and the sale of a 43.5 acre site in Newport News.
According to AUREO, the award is presented to members based on their contributions to AUREO and its member institutions, the professional development of the real estate function within higher education and their interaction with the individual members of AUREO.
The Lessenger Award is just the latest in a series of accolades Buchanan has received.
In 2010, Buchanan was named one of the top 20 women in Richmond commercial real estate. She is also a past president of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers’ Richmond chapter.
AUREO, which was founded in 1983, is an organization of college and university real estate professionals representing most major institutions in the United States and Canada, including William & Mary.
According to AUREO, the organization seeks to advance the common interests of colleges and universities relating to real estate administration, including management, leasing, investment, development, acquisition and disposition.
Buchanan was involved with AUREO before coming to the College, serving as the organization’s president from 2005-2006.
It was through this office that Buchanan first became connected with William & Mary.
“William & Mary contacted me while I was serving as president,” she said. “It was my membership in AUREO that brought me to the attention of William & Mary.”
The presentation of the Lessenger Award to Buchanan demonstrates that the same dedication with which she served AUREO is now bringing benefits to the W&M community as a whole.