John S. “Jack” Shannon ’52

John S. "Jack" Shannon held a variety of positions in the law departments of Norfolk & Western Railway and the Norfolk Southern Corporation. He served on the Roanoke College board of trustees as a member and chair of the executive committee.

Born in Tampa, Florida, Mr. Shannon attended Andrew Lewis High School in Salem before entering Roanoke College.  He earned his B.A. in Economics in 1952 and was the valedictorian of his class.

While a student, Mr. Shannon was a member of the leadership fraternity Omicron Delta Kappa, the legal fraternity Phi Delta Phi and the social fraternity Sigma Chi, for which he served as secretary. After earning his undergraduate degree, he attended the University of Virginia Law School, where he served as editor-in chief of the Virginia Law Review and, in 1955, earned his juris doctor degree.

He began his career with the Richmond law firm of Hunton, Williams, Gay, Moore and Powell before coming to Norfolk & Western as a solicitor. He spent 40 years with the railroad companies before retiring in 1996 from his position as executive vice president-law for Norfolk Southern.

Mr. Shannon has been a strong supporter of civic organizations and served as president of the Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley and president of the board of trustees of North Cross School.

Mr. Shannon became a member of the College's board of trustees in 1974 and also served on the Associates Committee, where he was its president for three years. He was chair of Special Gifts for the College's New Priorities Campaign. He was appointed chair of the board's executive committee in 1978 and served until 1982.

He has since served on many other committees of the board and, with his wife Betty, hosted receptions for Hampton Roads, Virginia, alumni. The couple have been strong supporters of the College's development campaigns and are Lifetime Distinguished Associates.

For his lifetime accomplishments and service the College, Mr. Shannon was awarded the Roanoke College Medal in 1985. 

John S. Shannon received the Roanoke College Medal in 1985.