CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. - Virgil Scott Ward, distinguished teacher and educational theorist, died in Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2003.
Dr. Ward, an authority on education for the gifted, was Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Virginia. In 1990, an endowed chair in the Curry School of Education was established in his name to honor his 30 years of service to the university and his lifelong commitment to educational opportunity for gifted students.
Dr. Ward was born in Union, S.C., on March 19, 1916, to John Lewis and Beatrice Scott Ward.
After the early death of his mother, he was raised by a beloved grandmother, Virginia Scott, and an aunt and uncle, Bonnie and Milan Patty. Dr. Ward was a veteran of World War II, serving in the European theater. He completed his undergraduate studies at Wofford College, where he also served on the faculty prior to coming to the University of Virginia in 1956. He earned his Master's degree from Duke University and his doctorate from UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Ward served as president of the South Carolina Mental Health Association, as president of the Association for the Gifted and as president of the Southeastern Association of the Gifted. Dr. Ward was the author or co-author of more than 50 publications, reports and papers on educating the gifted, including his book, Differential Education for the Gifted: An Axiomatic Approach. At the invitation of then-North Carolina governor Terry Sanford, Dr. Ward was the original project director for the North Carolina Governor's School, designing the theoretical structure and curricular framework which has served as a model for similar schools throughout the nation. His most recent work was a treatise on lifetime education, based on his belief that the adult years are possibly "the most rewarding and effective period for the fulfillment of human potentialities within the individual."
Dr. Ward is survived by his wife, Alyne McNeill Ward, of Winston-Salem; two daughters, Patricia Ward Capps and husband, Gene, of Winston-Salem and Rebecca J. Ward of Reston, Va.; a son, William M. Ward of Ruckersville, Va.; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service for Dr. Ward will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Gary Robbins officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Amnesty International, to Hospice, to Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church in Charlottesville, or to a charity of the donor's choice. Teague Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.
Published in the Winston-Salem Journal on 2/18/2003.