11/22/2004 – WINCHESTER, VA


William Brandt, cofounder and retired CEO and chairman of American Woodmark Corporation, will serve as the first-ever Executive-in-Residence for the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business at Shenandoah University, for the spring semester 2005. Dr. Randy W. Boxx, dean of the business school announced Brandt’s appointment.

Brandt, who earned his master in business administration degree from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College, came to Winchester in 1973 to work for the cabinet division of Boise Cascade Company. He led a leveraged buyout of the business in 1980, formed the Company under the name American Woodmark, and served as CEO from its startup through 1996.

Brandt met Shenandoah University President James A. Davis not long after Davis arrived at the university in the early 1980s.

“Dr. Davis approached me to be on the business advisory board,” said Brandt. “Education has always been of interest and of great importance to me and Shenandoah University is an educational asset to this community.” In addition to serving as a board trustee since 1986, Brandt was also chairman of the board of trustees from 1998 to 2000 and is currently chairman of the board’s long-range planning committee.

Brandt says he is looking forward to spending more time in the classroom, as well as in his office on campus to meet with enthusiastic business students. “I’ll be available to meet with students one-on-one to help them as they develop their business interests,” said Brandt.

The Executive-in-Residence is an idea Dr. Boxx has initiated at other colleges, and one he finds extremely helpful to students. “Counseling and mentoring are very important aspects of a business education and Bill believes it’s important that successful business people share their knowledge with students aspiring to enter the business world,” said Boxx. “Bill also wants to help me develop the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business into a top-notch business school.”

“We also want to make the school more visible to industry and commerce in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Boxx said. “In short, my vision and Bill’s vision are the same: to enhance the academic excellence of the business school.”

The mission of the Executive-in-Residence Program at Shenandoah is to enhance the academic excellence of the business school through the practical experience of a veteran business executive, Boxx explained. Brandt will be the Executive-in-Residence for the spring term 2005, with no set plans beyond that, though Boxx said, “the intent is for the program to continue.”

The vision is for the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business to be recognized for having built stronger relationships with the business community and for helping students to successfully transition into the business world.

Brandt has previously taught courses at the university in organizational leadership and cultural change. Explains Brandt: “Through education, you can help make people more aware of their natural leadership skills as well as understand the dynamics of culture for any type of organization.”

Shenandoah University is a comprehensive Level VI private university with an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students in six schools: College of Arts & Sciences, Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, Shenandoah Conservatory, Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, the School of Health Professions (Athletic Training, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy and Respiratory Care) and the School of Continuing Education. The university offers more than 80 programs of study at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. For more information, contact the Public Relations Office at (540) 665-4510 or visit www.su.edu.