Founding History of Our School

A. Ross Myers (Class of '72) and John R. Lawson II (Class of '75), met as undergraduates and as members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.  Myers is the CEO of Allan Myers, headquartered in Worcester, PA., and Lawson is the President and CEO of W. M. Jordan Co., headquartered in Newport News, VA.  Together, they provided an endowment to form the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech in 2006.   In addition to their generous gifts, the University, the College of Engineering, and the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (now the College of Architecture, Arts and Design) provided matching support to make the school a reality.

The faculty co-developers were Dr. Yvan Beliveau, then Georgia Anne Snyder-Falkinham Professor, and Building Construction Department Head in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (now the College of Architecture, Arts and Design), and Dr. Mike Vorster,  then David Burrows Professor of Civil Engineering and Coordinator of the Vecellio Construction Engineering and Management Program.  Beliveau and Vorster were the inaugural school director and associate director, respectively.  In 2011, Dr. Brian M. Kleiner was named the school director, and Dr. Mike Garvin and then Dr. Chris Fiori were the Associate Directors. 

In 2007, the MLSoC moved into the then newly built facility, Bishop-Favrao Hall. The building was named for Richard Bishop who made a $1 million lead gift for the facility and William Favrao, the BC department head from its inception in 1947 until his death in 1977.  In 2016, it was announced that thanks to a lead gift of $5 million by Joan and Russell Hitt, Hitt Hall would be constructed to double the School’s footprint. In 2017, the Program in Real Estate was named a joint program with the MLSoC. In 2017, it was also announced that $25 million was raised to complete Hitt Hall and a second building.  With University matching funds, these and other projects totaling $78.45 million will make the University’s vision to be a destination for Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities education and research, a reality.  

Today, the Myers-Lawson School of Construction is a leader in smart design and construction, human-centered issues such as safety, and project and infrastructure management.  Dr. Kleiner is the director. Dr. Josh Iorio serves as Assistant Director.  Dr. Georg Reichard is the BC Department Head. Professor Ashley Johnson is the undergraduate CEM program coordinator, and Dr. Mike Garvin is the VCEMP graduate coordinator.


Ross Myers and John Lawson