Ring of Fire
Pamplin: Namesake of business college influential at university from page one
collegiatetimes.com june 25, 2009
Ilima Ursomarso performs a fire spinning routine at the Summer Solstice Festival Saturday, June 20 near Blacksburg’s Kent Square development.
for him in 1988. He was originally from Dinwiddie County. His wife of 68 years, Katherine Reese Pamplin, died less than a year ago. He had two brothers who are also deceased. According to an Associated Press report, Pamplin Jr. said his father suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Pamplin worked for GeorgiaPacific from his college graduation in 1934 until he retired in 1976. According to his obituary, he was “an acknowledged leader and creative thinker within his industry. He was also known as the father of the southern pine plywood industry.” In a statement, Georgia-Pacific expressed gratitude for Pamplin’s time at the company. “We offer our deepest condolences to the Pamplin family,” the statement said. “Mr. Pamplin was one of the most influential people in the history of our company. His contributions to Georgia-Pacific and education were enormous, and he will be truly missed.” After retiring, he created R.B. Pamplin Corporation with his son.
Prior to entering his field, he graduated from Dinwiddie County High School and Tech. He later completed a graduate degree at Northwestern University. He was also the recipient of honorary degrees from Tech, Lewis & Clark College, University of Portland and Western Seminary. Tech also awarded him the Alumni Distinguished Service Award. He served on the Board of Visitors from 1971 to 1979. Pamplin was named Virginian of the Year by the Virginia Press Association. Other awards include Northwestern University’s “Merit Award” and Financial World’s outstanding chief executive officer in forest and paper products industries. He is survived by Pamplin Jr. and daughter-in-law Marilyn H. Pamplin, as well as granddaughters Amy Pamplin North and Anne PamplinEvenson and their families. He has three great-grandsons. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 26, at the Agnes Flanagan Chapel at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon. University officials could not be reached for comment at press time.
Thursday, June 25, 2009 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times