The Columns

Annual Fund: Buddy LeTourneau ’71 Your Support Matters, Class Agent, The Importance of Paying It Forward

— by on September 5th, 2016

Buddy LeTourneau '71

“W&L does things in a different way.”

Buddy LeTourneau ’71 has served Washington and Lee as a class agent since 1996. Even after 21 years of volunteering for the Annual Fund, he is still motivated by what he terms the “passion and love” he feels for the university. He says that his W&L experience was shaped in several ways. During his student days, he belonged to Delta Tau Delta, majored in economics, served on the Calyx staff and was a member of the Commerce fraternity. Remembers his classmate Lee Graham, “Having worked with Buddy as house manager of our fraternity, I can say he is organized, upbeat and efficient at whatever he undertakes. He encourages without pressure and gets the job done.”

Buddy is also a W&L parent. His son, Scott, graduated in 2000. Buddy and his wife, Terry, have richly enjoyed his alumni experience. They have traveled extensively with the Alumni College program — approximately 14 trips. In addition to his service as class agent, Buddy chaired his 45th class reunion and was a vital member of his 25th, 30th and 40th reunion committees. He has also served as a director of the Alumni Board and belongs to The George Washington Society. To say that Buddy is dedicated to Washington and Lee would be an understatement.

Buddy also views W&L through a professional lens. He operates BLT Consulting, a retained search practice located in Mooresville, North Carolina, which focuses on executive searches for higher education, among other fields. Through his experience working with various institutions, Buddy has come to understand giving back to one’s alma mater. “W&L does things in a different way,” he says, by emphasizing the importance of unrestricted support through the Annual Fund. The more than $10 million raised each year for the Annual Fund gives W&L the flexibility to provide opportunities for our students that are the envy of many other institutions.

To Buddy, the most rewarding part of volunteering for the Annual Fund has been the opportunity to stay current with his classmates. He says that getting up to speed with their lives has been “absolutely fun.”

“Buddy has been leading our class for decades and does not seem to be slowing down,” says B. Christopher Lee ’71. “Every year he reminds us of how W&L shaped our lives and that we have a special obligation to ensure the continued excellence of the university for future generations.”

That emphasis on paying it forward is the heart of Buddy’s message to any alumnus who wonders why supporting the Annual Fund is important. He feels strongly that every graduate has benefited immensely from the philanthropy of earlier generations. Donating to the Annual Fund is each alumnus’ opportunity to help current students enjoy a rich W&L experience. Even though the university has a robust endowment, it still needs support each year in the form of unrestricted donations to do everything possible to educate today’s youth. Whether an alum gives $25, $250 or $2,500, Buddy emphasizes that all gifts are vital to W&L’s mission and are equally important in increasing the undergraduate alumni participation rate.

Another of his classmates, Bob Woodward, says it best when discussing how important Buddy is to his class and to Washington and Lee. “Buddy LeTourneau has been our class agent for as long as any of us can remember. He has all of the personal traits needed for continuing success in that role: friendliness, loyalty, patience, sympathy, persistence, understanding, good humor, persistence, diligence, generosity and persistence. His friendships with class members now are stronger than they were on our graduation day 45 years ago, and will be even stronger five years from now at our 50th reunion, after he has led us to be more generous to our university than ever before.”

To join Buddy and thousands of other alumni in supporting the Annual Fund before June 30, please visit support.wlu.edu/af, or call (540) 458-8420 to make a donation over the phone.