Thomas D. Rutherford '37
Thomas D. Rutherford was a native of Roanoke, Virginia. He entered Roanoke College in 1933, where he was on the debate team and a member of Sigma Chi social fraternity. Rutherford entered the University of Virginia in 1935 and graduated with a B.S. degree in economics in 1937.
After his schooling, Rutherford enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 1942, right after Pearl Harbor. He served as a private, and returned in 1945 as a Captain, after serving 18 months in Italy with the 15th Air Force. After finishing his time with the Air Force, Rutherford entered the insurance business in 1946 and started a new agency in 1963. This new agency specialized in insurance and bonds for contractors. The company was known as Thomas Rutherford Bonding and Insurance, and expanded to have offices in Roanoke, Norfolk, and Alexandria.
Rutherford served on the board of the Roanoke branch of the Bank of Virginia for a number of years, and also served on the board of directors of Cherokee Insurance Company of Nashville, Tennessee. He was a Regional Vice President of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, and was a member of the National Association of Casualty and Surety Agents. Rutherford was a member of the Virginia Branch of the Associated General Contractors and the Virginia Road Builders Association.
Rutherford became an honorary member of McVitty House after serving for a number of years on the board of Mercy House, Incorporated. He was chairman of the old Community Fund campaign and the first president of the new United Fund of Roanoke Valley. He gave his time to the Blue Ridge Council Boy Scouts of America and helped organize the first Junior Chamber of Commerce in Roanoke. Rutherford, an active Episcopalian, served as a vestryman of St. Paul's in Salem, and at St. John's, in Roanoke.
Thomas D. Rutherford headed several fund campaigns for Roanoke College, and served two years as president of the general Alumni Association. He was married on August 22, 1945 to Dona Walton Rutherford, and together they raised two children; Thomas D. Rutherford, Jr. and Walton I. Rutherford.