Diggs Teaching Scholar Association
In 1989, Virginia Tech President James McComas used a $1 million endowment from the estate of Edward S. Diggs (Class of 1916) to establish two Endowed Professorial Chairs (one in the Social Sciences and one in the Humanities). The inaugural Edward S. Diggs Endowed Professorial Chair, Edward Weisband, was appointed in 1990 in Social Sciences. Weisband founded the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award in 1992 as a program for highlighting, recognizing, and bringing together excellent teachers who model innovative pedagogical practices that advance, challenge, and/or unsettle existing conventions of teaching and learning.
Diggs Endowed Professorial Chairs and Diggs Teaching Scholars are dedicated to distinguished teaching and scholarship, especially devoted to enhancing the undergraduate learning environment across departments and disciplines throughout the university. They demonstrate abiding professional commitments to undergraduate education in a variety of ways including teaching of undergraduate courses, publication of texts and peer-reviewed articles devoted to undergraduate education, conference participation in dialogues devoted to undergraduate learning, and a commitment to and support for graduate students in their capacities as educators for undergraduate students. Search committees for Diggs Endowed Professorial Chair appointments should include past recipients of the Diggs Teaching Scholar award. Diggs Endowed Professorial Chairs are expected to provide leadership in advancing innovation in pedagogy and undergraduate curriculum development in collaboration with Diggs Teaching Scholars. Diggs Endowed Chair Professors are also asked to participate actively on an annual basis in the process of selecting Diggs Teaching Scholar Award recipients as well as during the annually scheduled Diggs Teaching Scholar Round Table. Together, the Diggs Endowed Professorial Chairs and Diggs Teaching Scholars constitute a dynamic community devoted to the support of undergraduate student learning and curricular innovation.