Friend remembers life of Marshall Hahn, Virginia Tech's 11th president

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) A man credited for restructuring Virginia Tech is being remembered as the person who changed the university and helped it grow.

Marshall Hahn was the 11th president of Virginia Tech who served in the 1960's through 70's.

The university was mostly known as an all male military school.

He made it a comprehensive university that broadened its scope of learning and opened the door to women.

Hahn was the youngest president of all land-grant universities in the nation when he was hired at 35.

He oversaw the expansion of research programs and changes to the admissions process.

Ray Smoot was President of the Student Government Association while Hahn was president. Smoot later worked as the university vice president.

The two became life long friends.

"Marshall Hahn was among the most intelligent people. I have ever met. He had a photographic memory. He could walk into a room, meet 30 people, and would remember the name of each one of them throughout the meeting," Smoot said.

About 25 buildings were constructed during his presidency, more than any other.

He also fought to end mandatory participation in the Corps of Cadets and in 1964 saw an increase in applications to Virginia Tech because of that move.

A viewing is Friday, June 10th, at McCoy Funeral Home in Blacksburg from 3 until 6.

The memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, June 11th, at 11 in Burruss Hall.