In honor of Mr & Mrs. Frank L. Hereford

bark leaf
Tree species:
Fraxinus americana 'Autumn Purple'
Common name:
Autumn Purple Ash
Location:
The Lawn, Pavillion VIII
Date planted:
1986

Frank L. Hereford, Jr. was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He spent his childhood in Louisiana and then in his teens left for St. Petersburg, Florida to attend the Florida Military Academy. He chose the University of Virginia over Princeton for college in part because he liked what he heard about the University.


At the time of his enrollment in the University he thought he would pursue law, but since he liked math and physics he chose in his third year to major in physics. World War II changed life at the University and Hereford stopped his academic pursuits to work on various projects, one with an atomic bomb and another with guided missiles. Although the war years were lean and serious, 1945 and the end of the War brought back life and parties to the campus. Hereford didn't miss opportunities to visit Sweetbriar College (an all women's school) and it was there he met his wife Ann. Hereford was an associate sports editor for "College Topics" (the forerunner of the Cavalier Daily), he worked on Corks and Curls and was active in the Inter-Fraternity Council during his tenure as a student at UVa. After his undergraduate education at the University Hereford returned to pursue his Ph.D. in physics. He then conducted research in cosmic rays at the Bartol Research Foundation, a lab in Pennsylvania, before being offered an assistant professorship in physics at UVa for the fall of 1949. He taught until 1966 when he then served for five years as the University's provost. He resigned in 1971 so he could return to teaching and research. He taught and researched for three years and then was offered the position of University President. He asked for a week to deliberate the offer and discuss it with his wife - it was a difficult decision for him because of his desire to remain in the classroom, but ultimately he felt he couldn't say 'no' since it was his own university asking him to be president. He took office in September of 1974.

According to Frank Hereford one of his main resoponsibilities as President was securing funds for the University. This of course meant an enormous amount of entertaining. He and his wife Ann sometimes entertained three or four times a week. Ann helped ease the burden this might have been for Frank because as an acquaintance recalled, "Just get Ann Hereford sitting at a big dinner table where no one knows each other and they'll all be talking together non-stop in five minutes." Ann's skill in entertaining was in part due to her incredible memory - she was not only good at remembering faces, but also names, spouse's names, children's names, interests and accomplishments.

Ann Hereford was raised in Washington, D.C. and attended school at Gunston Hall and Mount Vernon Seminary before leaving to attend school at Sweetbriar College. She finished two years at Sweetbriar College before she married Frank at age 19. While Frank was at the Bartol Research Foundation, she completed her junior year at Swarthmore. Upon Frank's return to join the faculty at UVa, Ann enrolled and graduated from UVa with a bachelor's degree in education.

(Katie Couric, The Cavalier Daily, November 30, 1977.
Libby Wilson, The Charlottesville Daily Progress, May 22, 1983.
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Last Modified: Thursday, 06-Nov-2003 09:29:59 EST
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