Being a third generation Roanoker, it seemed only natural for George Emery Wade to attend Roanoke College after his graduation from Jefferson High School. And it seems only natural that he would choose to return to the Valley in his retirement years. A scholar of music, literature, math, and history, George Emery Wade is a true Renaissance man who believes in preserving and bettering the world around him.
George Emery graduated from Roanoke in 1936 with a major in Math and English and continued his education at the University of Michigan where he received his master's degree in Actuarial Science. His career began in Roanoke as an Actuarial Clerk at Shenandoah Life Insurance Company. In 1942, he left for Washington, DC, to become a Research Analyst with the Army Security Agency in the War Department. He worked for this Agency for 5 years, including 2 ½ years while in military service, and he had the intriguing job of working as a cryptologist prior to, during and for several years after World War II. After his military career, he moved to Wilmington, Delaware, and worked in the Treasurer's Department at E. I. duPont Company. In 1950, he joined Ostheimer and Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a company that was later acquired by Peat, Marwick, Mitchell. He continued to work with Peat, Marwick as a Pension Consultant and Administrator until his retirement in 1978.
Not only has Mr. Wade enjoyed a distinguished and successful career, but he also continues to be a leader in his church, in the community and for Roanoke College. A member of Raleigh Court Presbyterian, he is active in the United Presbyterian Church, serving as a ruling Elder and serving in its educational program on the local and regional levels. George Emery is considered a historian of the Valley and is involved in several local historical societies. He has collected and donated many historical items to these organizations and to the Virginia Room of the Roanoke City Public Library. He is a collector of books and has preserved the history of Roanoke through his volumes of vintage postcards. He is also a skilled pianist and has written songs and hymns. Mr. Wade's strong belief in a liberal arts education and his desire to help students are made evident by the professorship in music that he has established at Roanoke College. He has also donated a rare collection of American and English poetry to the Fintel Library. He holds the distinction of being a Lifetime Distinguished Associate and a long-standing member of the Society of 1842.
Mr. Wade lives at Brandon Oaks Retirement Community in Roanoke. His wife of 55 years, Naomi Brandon Wade, died in 1992.
George Emery Wade, for your strong commitment to Roanoke College and its students and for your dedicated service to your profession, church, and community, we honor you with the Roanoke College Medal.
George E. Wade received the Roanoke College Medal in 1999.