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Tributes to beloved academic advisor Terry Arthur

Terry Arthur served the Department of Computer Science's undergraduate advising office from June 1999 to August 2016.
Terry Arthur served the Department of Computer Science's undergraduate advising office from June 1999 to August 2016.

Ethan Groves
Class of 2015

Terry was the best advisor ever! She was always so helpful and genuinely cared whenever I went to see her. From my experience, it's definitely accurate to describe her as patient, wise, and quick to celebrate successes. I loved talking to her. I also had the privilege of attending her husband's class before he retired. Both were wonderful people. Very thankful and grateful for both of them! Love and prayers for the whole family! God bless them all as they deal with this loss! She will definitely be missed! 

Som Kafley
Class of 2015

Sad to hear. She helped me to navigate through the CS courses. Terry was an incredible advisor with friendly glamor.

Arianna Krinos
Class of 2019

So sorry to hear this. She convinced me to add Computer Science as a major in Fall 2015! Very grateful for her help and kindness.

David Shap
Class of 2015

This is very sad to hear. Terry helped me and many others navigate our cs undergrads. I remember walking out of her office many times with great clarity on what had to be accomplished that semester, and future semesters. She was an exceptional advisor.

Harjas Singh
Class of 2015

Extremely sad to hear this. Terry was an incredible support throughout my years as a CS major. I was able to discuss things with her outside of academics and she always listened and advised me on the best course of action. Just like Ethan Groves I was able to attend her husband’s class before he retired. Love and prayers!

Melanie Trammell-Wenger
Class of 2019, 2019

Terry Arthur was one of those women you meet that you really admire and one day hoped to be like. She was kind, but also competent and highly respected. This is not easy to achieve as a woman in a position of authority, especially in CS. I think having Terry in our department gave many female students hope and inspiration that it was possible. Whenever I would meet with Terry Arthur to check on my progression towards graduation, I knew I was in good hands.

She never missed a single detail, and she had basically all the official names of every class a CS student could take memorized (and we as students did not even know some of the official titles of the classes we were taking!). My freshmen year she caught an error in planning on my part which would have delayed when I could declare my major as CS. I was forever grateful for that.

Julia Costello
Strategic Partnership Coordinator, Department of Computer Science 

My favorite memories with Terry are those when walking and talking with her around campus at lunch. She was an avid walker and had a stride you worked to keep up with! Terry was always smiling, always laughing, always encouraging, always caring about helping others succeed. She was also the best at getting badge holders back after career fairs! She will be deeply missed. Terry’s genuine care and encouragement toward others inspires me to do the same.

Sharon Kinder-Potter
Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Computer Science 

Oh this is the most heartbreaking news.  Terry was the most humble and caring person she will be dearly missed by many.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Sean and the family.

Cal Ribbens
Head, Department of Computer Science  

Terry and Sean were among the very first people in the CS Department who helped welcome us to Blacksburg way back in 1987.

When I became Associate Department Head in 2003, Terry, Libby Bradford, and Verna Schuetz patiently explained to me the ins and outs of the advising process, and in fact, of the undergraduate program as a whole.

Terry always set a great example of caring concern for students. And she also was not afraid to stand up for students if she felt they had a good reason to complain about something. This was a good example to us all. Terry greeted almost every student with a simple question: "How can I help?" And she meant it. She was always gracious, upbeat, calm, and wise as she advised students. And she had a great sense of humor! One part of the job I know she especially liked was hearing her students talk about their internships and job offers. She genuinely celebrated their accomplishments.

Daphne Yao
Professor, Department of Computer Science


I missTerry's elegant smile very much. She was always so warm-hearted and ready to help others. Terry made all the department's events look so well organized and professional. Every time Terry saw me, she found time to chat and listen. She always wanted to know whether you were doing fine. She was so generous with her time.

In 2013, my father-in-law went through two major surgeries at University of Virginia. It was an extremely tough time for the whole family, me, my husband, and our then 6-year-old. I bumped into Terry outside Kelly Hall and talked about my struggles. She talked about similar tough times she had. She was a very strong woman with such composure. Her calmness, patience, and kind words helped me go through that period.

Amanda Michaels

I am shocked and saddened. I worked with Terry in the CS department from 2013-2014. She was an amazing, AMAZING person, advisor, friend, and colleague. She made my time at Virginia Tech so wonderful and served as a strong support system to so many students that walked through our doors.

I have a fond memory: one day we had these cookies in the office and she turned to me and said because they were so thin the calories didn't count. 
My deepest condolences to Dr. Arthur and Terry's family.

Dr. Barbara Ryder
Head, Department of Computer Science (2008-2015)
J. Byron Maupin Professor Emerita of Engineering 

Terry was a caring mentor/advisor, devoted in her interactions with CS students.  As our senior advisor, she was a strong, positive influence on our advising staff as well.  Terry efficiently organized and participated in many CS events with parents and students. 

Terry was quick to volunteer to help out, asserted a calm influence in difficult situations, and had an optimistic perspective on life. Importantly to me, Terry was always willing to listen when I came to campus needing a chance to “decompress” in some difficult situation.  She was patient, understanding, and supportive -- qualities that supported those who interacted with her. Terry was a strength of the department;  she will be widely missed.

Verna Schuetz
Retired Assistant Head, Department of Computer Science

It is with deep sorrow that I say goodbye to my colleague and friend Terry Arthur. Through the many years during which I knew and worked with Terry, she was always such a wonderful colleague and friend. She was modest in requests for herself but generous in giving to help others, whether colleagues, or her advisees, or even students outside the department trying hard to become CS majors. Terry was a warm, thoughtful, caring person who always put others before herself. She will be sorely missed.