Wangdali C. “Wali” Bacdayan ’92 Named Next Rector of Washington and Lee
Wangdali C. “Wali” Bacdayan ’92, a current trustee of Washington and Lee University, will be the next rector of W&L’s Board of Trustees. The board unanimously elected Bacdayan as the university’s 32nd rector during its meeting in Lexington on Oct. 21, 2023. He will assume his duties at the conclusion of the February 2024 meeting, succeeding Michael R. McAlevey ’86, who has been rector since 2020.
A 1992 graduate of W&L, Bacdayan has been a member of W&L’s Board of Trustees since 2019 and has served on the Board’s Finance, Trusteeship, and Undergraduate Academics and Admissions Committees. He also served on the special committee that examined the University’s name and symbols in 2020-21. As an alumnus, he has served as co-chairman of his 5th and 25th class reunion committees, president of the Pittsburgh alumni chapter, an Alumni Admissions Program chair, and a class agent. He received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2017.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected for this role,” said Bacdayan. “I look forward to working with the entire W&L community to serve our students by providing an environment where our young people can explore and prepare for the pursuit of their highest ambitions.”
Dana Bolden, a trustee from Beaufort, South Carolina, and a 1989 graduate of W&L, chairs the board’s Trusteeship Committee, which nominated Bacdayan for the position.
“The Trusteeship Committee was pleased to recommend Wali Bacdayan as our rector-elect,” said Bolden. “Wali’s passion, proven leadership, commitment to the university and relationships with our stakeholders make him the right choice to lead the Board over the next four years. We look forward to Wali’s leadership of the Board as we begin our capital campaign and continue to execute our strategic plan.”
Bacdayan is a private investor and entrepreneur. He also serves as a Venture Partner for Delta-v Capital, a technology-focused growth capital fund. In addition, he is the principal investor and co-founder of Millie’s Homemade and Southern Steer Butcher. Previously, he was the co-founding partner of Incline Equity Partners, a partner at PNC Equity Partners and a financial analyst in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group of Dean Witter Reynolds Inc.
Bacdayan serves as a board director of The Aaron’s Company, a publicly traded provider of lease-to-own and retail purchase solutions of home goods, and is an investor and board director of several privately held companies, including Diamond Kinetics, Envirovac Holdings LLC, and FrontSteps Community. He is actively involved in philanthropic organizations and has served as a board member of several non-profit organizations in the Pittsburgh area and his childhood hometown of Natchitoches, Louisiana.
As a student at Washington and Lee, Bacdayan was a dorm counselor, co-chairman of the Student Recruitment Committee, and a member of the football and track & field teams and Sigma Chi fraternity. He received a B.A., summa cum laude, in economics and mathematics and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa. He earned his M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in June 1997. He and his wife, Dr. Wendy (Neel) Bacdayan ’94, have three sons, Ben (21), William (20) and Charlie (17).
“Wali is a person of high integrity, character, energy and intellect who loves W&L,” said W&L Rector Mike McAlevey. “He has lived a life of accomplishment and generosity and has earned the full confidence of the board. Wali will lead the University into the future, grounded in our enduring values.”
McAlevey, a 1986 graduate of Washington and Lee, has been a member of W&L’s Board of Trustees since 2013. As rector, he led the university through a global pandemic and an examination of its name and symbols. During his four-year tenure, the university raised over $150M toward priorities outlined in its Strategic Plan and made significant capital improvements to the campus, including the addition of the Harte Center for Teaching and Learning, the Duchossois Athletic and Recreation Center, the renovation of Elrod Commons, and a new facility for the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics, which is currently under construction.