Associate Dean of Students Aaron Laushway announces retirement

Laushway plans to conclude his career after 24 years dedicated to student involvement

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Laushway has served at the University for the past 24 years.

Tapley Borucke | Cavalier Daily

Associate Dean of Students Aaron Laushway plans to retire from his position in June 2020. Chief Student Affairs Officer Patricia M. Lampkin — who plans to retire in August 2020 —  informed colleagues in a Facebook post of Laushway’s decision, detailing his accomplishments over the past several years.

Courtesy University of Virginia

Laushway joined the Student Affairs division in 1996 as an assistant dean and worked closely with fraternities, sororities, their alumni and national organizations. He was initiated into the 1993 chapter of Zeta Psi at Yale University and is still recognized as an elder of the fraternity. 

Upon its founding in 2001, Laushway became responsible for the Fraternity and Sorority Life unit in the Office of the Dean of Students — a unit which was established following an initiative put forth by the Board of Visitors.

In an email to the Cavalier Daily, University Dean of Students Allen Groves recognized Laushway’s dedication to supporting student leadership. Laushway was also involved with the University’s ROTC program, serving as the liaison of the Office of the Dean of Students.

“He cares deeply about our students, and was often the first person to visit a student after a serious accident or injury,” Groves said. “He is strongly committed to the idea of student self-governance and has been an important friend and mentor for many student leaders. In recent years he has contributed greatly to helping military veterans integrate into student life.”

Laushway advocated for student involvement and inclusion throughout his career. He helped establish designated graduation days for graduate and doctoral Engineering students and an annual Academic Convocation for all incoming graduate and professional students upon arriving at the University each August. 

These efforts led to the development of the Graduate Professional Council in 2018 — a unit in the Office of the Dean of Students aimed to make those students seeking a professional degree find community at the University. 

Laushway reflected on his own experience as a graduate student and emphasized the importance of making graduate students feel recognized at the University 

“So many of our graduate and professional students come here and they don’t have an undergraduate experience,” Laushway said. “And yet they come and they are involved in the life of the University… they just bring an incredible diversity from other institutions.”

Lampkin commented on Laushway’s commitment to forming personal relationships with students over the past 24 years of his career.

“One of Aaron’s greatest legacies is his devotion to students and their development,” Lampkin said. “Aaron has been a dear mentor, confidante, and friend to so many of the students who have passed through UVA.”

Laushway’s involvement with student life throughout his time at the University has led him to receive honorary membership to Order of Omega, Phi Eta Sigma and the Washington Literary Society and Debating Union. He has also served as a Faculty Fellow at Hereford Residential College for nearly 20 years.

Laushway expressed the satisfaction he received in working with students at the University and noted his interactions with them as the moments he would miss most in retirement.

“This is an assembly of some of the finest minds, creative spirits, enthusiastic lovers of life,” Laushway said. “There are some that have a little trouble but that was part of my journey, to help them understand their responsibilities and always allow the students to make the final decisions.”

According to Lampkin’s statement, Laushway’s retirement will be formally celebrated at a later date in order to pay tribute to his time and service at the University.

This article has been updated with an additional interview from Dean Aaron Laushway.

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