Publisher: Virginia Tech, Digital Library and Archives
Joseph D. Eggleston Jr.
Joseph D. Eggleston Jr. was a pioneering educator who served as Virginia's first elected superintendant of public schools and made significant advances in Virginia education. He successfully increased funding for both public secondary schools and public universities (the number of Virginia high schools grew under his tenure from 75 to 448), increased teachers' salaries, and lengthened school terms. Eggleston also served as the seventh president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where his most ambitious fiscal projects were stalled by U.S. involvement in World War I (1914–1918) and a more wary state legislature. In 1919 he was named president of his alma mater, Hampden-Sydney College, where he remained for twenty years, helping the institution to liberalize its curriculum and to weather the effects of the Great Depression.