Changing of the BOV guard

James Murray joins the UVA Board of Visitors with previous experience on the College of William & Mary BOV.

Photo courtesy James Murray James Murray joins the UVA Board of Visitors with previous experience on the College of William & Mary BOV. Photo courtesy James Murray

Every year, the governor announces appointments to the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors. While donations are not a prerequisite, it’s been common in the past to find that appointees have contributed to the governor, and this year is no exception. Three out of the four new members have made significant donations. President Teresa Sullivan’s four new bosses will begin their terms July 1.

Elizabeth Cranwell

Hailing from Roanoke, Cranwell is a public relations professional and a Democratic activist. A UVA alumna, she holds a bachelor’s degree in American government and Spanish along with a master’s in public communication from American University. She is married to Richard “Dickie” Cranwell, former Democratic Party of Virginia chairman from 2005-2010 and former majority leader in the House of Delegates. Cranwell is the only new visitor who is not a major McAuliffe donor.

Thomas DePasquale

DePasquale is chairman of Yopine and former president and CEO of Outtask Inc., a company that introduced Cliqbook, a service that aids with online corporate travel management, as well as a self-proclaimed visionary, according to his LinkedIn page. DePasquale attended the McIntire School of Commerce at UVA and graduated with a degree in commerce with a concentration in accounting. He’s also the biggest donor of the new appointees, writing checks totaling nearly $124,000.

Babur Lateef

Lateef is an ophthalmologist who has his own practice in Woodbridge and who has improved accessibility for patients within the region who require extensive eye care treatment. Lateef is also a volunteer physician for the Prince William County Area Free Clinic, and he holds a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and an M.D. from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.

James. Murray Jr.

Charlottesville native Murray is a venture capitalist who has been a founder or a founding partner of various companies, including Court Square Ventures and Columbia Capital, which he started with former-governor-now Senator Mark Warner. He is the author of Wireless Nation: The Frenzied Launch of the Cellular Revolution in America, which provides his industry-insider account. Murray, a founder of the Presidential Precinct, has previous BOV experience at the College of William & Mary, where he served for six years and where he earned a law degree. He attended UVA as an undergraduate. Murray, who makes 100-wealthiest-Virginians lists, is also a big donor to both sides of the aisle.

Mark Bowles of Goochland was reappointed for a second term to the BOV. Bowles is a partner and executive vice president of McGuireWoods Consulting. He graduated from James Madison University with a degree in English and political science and attended law school at the University of Richmond. He joined the board last year as a replacement for Dr. Edward Miller, who resigned after disagreements arose with the board about discrepancies in UVA’s medical system and the 11 percent tuition hike.

Frank Atkinson of Ashland, Victoria Harker of McLean and Bobbie Kilberg of Herndon were all appointed by Republican Governor Bob McDonnell on July 1, 2012, and were each eligible for reappointment, but were not reinstated. Atkinson noted that he would not seek reappointment.

Helen Dragas of Virginia Beach concluded her second BOV term June 10, which is also the four-year anniversary of her announcement while rector that Teresa Sullivan would resign as president. Neither faculty, students nor alumni took kindly to her efforts, expressing their rage through protests, which, after 18 days of leaderless turmoil, saw Sullivan reinstated. While Dragas was an advocate for keeping tuition low, her legacy is inextricably tied with the 2012 debacle.


Donations from each member pictured above


Posted In:     News

Tags:     , , , ,

Previous Post

City lawyer: Condemnation of Water Street Garage has begun

Next Post

Protecting the elderly

Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to

Leave a Reply

Notify of