UVA Wise’s Crockett Award Honors UVA Board of Visitors Member Tom DePasquale

Chancellor Henry presenting Tom DePasquale with award
Chancellor Donna P. Henry presents the Crockett Award to Tom DePasquale

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise has named UVA Board of Visitors (BOV) member Tom DePasquale as this year’s recipient of the Crockett Award, given to an individual who has made significant advances in strengthening the relationship between the two institutions.  

UVA Wise Chancellor Donna P. Henry presented the award to DePasquale during the UVA BOV meeting on Thursday at the College’s campus.

“Mr. DePasquale has been one of the greatest ambassadors for UVA Wise during his tenure on the Board of Visitors and has served with distinction on the BOV’s Committee on Wise,” Chancellor Henry said. “He is so deserving of this award. I appreciate Tom's diligent prodding to ensure that there’s no time for me to rest on my laurels. And for that, I appreciate the opportunity to recognize you.”

The Crockett Award, established in 1995 by then-Clinch Valley College, is named after Samuel R. Crockett Jr. who, in 1954, as the UVA extension representative in Southwest Virginia, was instrumental in creating a division of the University in Wise. DePasquale is the 23rd award recipient. The award is made from a stone from Crockett Hall, one of two original buildings of the College.

“It's a really meaningful award because it's a little thank you for what was a pleasure to do. This was never expected. This was a work of pure pleasure because the people here are that good,” DePasquale said. 

DePasquale is a 1982 graduate of UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce, where he earned a degree in commerce with a concentration in accounting. He has served on the UVA BOV for nearly eight years. He was appointed to the BOV by former Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2016 and reappointed by former Governor Ralph Northam in 2020. His second term ends in June. 

When DePasquale first visited UVA Wise he expected to find a small dilapidated college, but he instead found a pristine, visually stunning and vibrant campus in the beautiful hills.

“He was not only impressed by the physical facility, but also by the students, faculty and staff that he met and got to know. He saw the beauty of UVA Wise and also its potential, and he immediately went to work to influence others to invest their time and resources in the College,” Henry said.

A staunch supporter of UVA Wise, DePasquale’s greatest impact is likely the creation of the Chancellor’s Fund for Success. When Henry shared that some students were forced to withdraw from the College due to financial hardship, DePasquale established the fund. 

“It is a way to facilitate these emergency decisions that are so important, but generally need small dollars. If you can get the issue out of the way and you can keep a student here at college, what a great deal. It is a wonderful investment,” DePasquale said.

Since then, UVA Wise students have applied for emergency assistance and received support for shelter, food, repairs to automobiles, medical bills and other necessities that have allowed them to continue their education. 

“It has made an incredible difference in the lives of financially disadvantaged students. His generosity has changed the trajectory of the lives of the students that have received emergency support from the Chancellor’s Fund for Success,” Henry said. “Mr. DePasquale saw the need and seized the opportunity to make a difference. For that, we are deeply grateful and he is a deserving recipient.”

Previous Crockett Award recipients include UVA President James Ryan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer “J.J.” Davis Wagner, Vice President for Advancement Mark Luellen, Vice President for Communications and Chief Marketing Officer David Martel, Senior Vice President for Operations and State Government Relations Colette Sheehy, and Deputy University Counsel Barry Meek.