(March 3, 2020) It is with profound sadness that the department announces the passing of Professor Emeritus Thomas C. Ward on February 28, 2020.

Prof. Ward joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry in 1968 and during the course of his career as a researcher, made many contributions to the understanding of complex multiple phase systems and their strength of attachment to one another. Throughout his career, he published 159 journal articles, wrote four books, received one patent and mentored over 60 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. An accomplished lecturer, he became a member of the university’s Academy of Teaching Excellence in 1975, received the Virginia Tech William E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence in 1975, and received the Paul J. Flory Polymer Education Award from the ACS Division of Polymer Chemistry in 2004. Dr. Ward co-founded the ACS Polymer Chemistry short courses in 1976 and taught short courses both through the ACS and on industrial sites worldwide until 2013. He was a true educator. Dr. Ward held the title of Adhesive and Sealant Council Professor of Chemistry and was conferred the title Adhesive and Sealant Council Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 2007.

Dr. Ward was born July 10, 1941 in Angier, North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Science from North Carolina State University in 1963 and went onto Princeton University to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1966. He is survived by his wife Randall, his daughters Janice Ward Jewell, Cynthia Ward Hackney and Helen McLeod Ward, stepsons Michael Kelly Crump and Patrick Walton Crump, his brother Ronald Young Ward, his sister Mary Martha Ward, his stepbrother Neal Franklin Fowler, granddaughters Olivia Grace Jewell, Lily and Julia Sconyers, and Maxine Crump.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at the Blacksburg Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and the family will receive guests after the service until 1:15 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice or online condolences to mccoyfuneralhome.com.

Update (March 13, 2020): The funeral service has been postponed indefinitely as the Blacksburg Unitarian Universalist Congregation church is closed until further notice as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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