Chancellor of UVa Wise dies

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

The chancellor at UVA Wise has died.

College officials, community leaders, and students gathered to share their memories of the school's late administrator, David J. Prior.

Prior died early Thursday morning at his home.

Prior had been the chancellor at the Unviersity of Virginia's College of Wise for nearly 6 years.

The cause of his death is still unknown.

UVa-Wise faculty say Chancellor David Prior dedicated his life to education.

"Chancellor Prior was a true educator. He worked hard on the various projects on campus,” Kathy Still said.

Now staff and students are missing his presence on campus.

College officials say Prior died unexpectedly at his home early Thursday morning from an illness.

"Everybody is definitely in shock today due to his passing. It's deeply heartfelt," Scott Lawson said.

Though he is gone, those here say his legacy remains.

They say he was responsible for the Fulfilling the Dream campaign which exceeded 50 million dollars.

"He has a passion for the college and the community. While he was here he worked on many projects. We have the new 30 million dollar commons center. He worked closely with the public schools to really help the economy by fostering education in the region,” Still said.

They say Chancellor Prior can never be replaced.

Prior is survived by his wife, Merry Lu, and two adult children, Andrea and Christopher.

Students and faculty at UVA Wise gathered to remember Chancellor David Prior.

They held a candlelight vigil for the Chancellor Thursday evening on campus.

Officials say he died unexpectedly early Thursday morning in his campus home.

Students and staff say he was very involved with everyone on campus, and he will be greatly missed.

“I'm here because he wrote me a letter of recommendation for medical school, and he helped me with my personal statement, and he had just sent me an email on Monday telling me good luck,” Rachel Hensley said.

Funeral arrangements for Prior have not been made.

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