|Lake developer is a 1964 graduate of FCHS|
Ron Willard Sr.
Friday, June 14, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
The Willard Companies President Ronald L. Willard Sr. will be the keynote speaker at Franklin County High School's 63rd commencement Saturday.
FCHS's graduation exercises will begin at C.I. (Cy) Dillon Stadium-Fred M. Brown Memorial Field at 10 a.m.
The Class of 2013 is comprised of 480 graduates, 74 of whom are distinguished honor graduates and 187 are honor graduates.
Distinguished honor graduates (graduates with a grade point average of 4.0 or higher) will wear a gold stole and white gown. They will be first in the processional and recessional.
Willard, a 1964 graduate of FCHS, started his construction company in 1973 at the age of 28. He has since transformed Smith Mountain Lake from a sleepy rural valley to a resort destination that attracts people from all across the United States to enjoy golf, recreation and luxury living.
Willard is credited with being instrumental in bringing the first bank, grocery store, cinema, golf course and other service-related businesses to the greater Smith Mountain Lake region.
The Willard Companies is the umbrella for Willard Construction of Roanoke Valley Inc., Prudential Waterfront Properties, The Waterfront, The Water's Edge, The Boardwalk and The Westlake Golf & Country Club.
The Willard Companies is one of the largest employers in Franklin County with over 200 employees.
The company is involved in building, developing and marketing. The company is also involved with Westlake Cinema, Westlake Towne Center, Westlake Salon & Spa, Smith Mountain Building Supply and its newest development -- The Farm at Smith Mountain Lake.
Willard serves on a number of regional, state and national organizations, including the Ferrum College Board of Directors, Business Council / Roanoke Economic Development Partnership, W.E. Skelton 4-H Center Board of Directors and the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, and he is a lifetime director with the National Association Homebuilders.
In addition, Willard was recently inducted into the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame.
Members of the Franklin County High School Class of 2013 have been awarded nearly $3.9 million in college scholarships. Schools such as Ferrum College, Roanoke College, Emory and Henry, and Virginia Western Community College awarded numerous scholarships to graduating seniors.
Students also received scholarship money from area businesses, churches, civic clubs and other community organizations.
The senior class officers for the Class of 2013 are Kassandra "Kassie" Peters, president; Megan Vest, vice-president; Morgan Adkins, secretary; and Linsey Schiemann, treasurer.
The faculty sponsor for the senior class is Allyson Lynch.