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Our History: Featured Alumni: Dalton, John N., 1957

Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, congressmen, ambassadors, educators, businessmen and women, and community leaders in many fields. This site features some of those late graduates.

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John Nichols Dalton

Governor of Virginia

John N. Dalton was born in Emporia, Virginia in 1931. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1953, and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1957. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1966 to 1972, was elected to the state senate in 1972, and then ran a successful campaign for Lieutenant Governor in 1973. Dalton was the Governor of Virginia from 1978 to 1982. He chaired the Republican Governors Association and served as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Governors Association, the Council of State Governments, the Southern Growth Policies Board, and the Education Commission of the States. He was the 1979 State Chairman of the Coastal Plains Regional Commission and 1979 Vice President of the Council of State Governments. He served on the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Southern States Energy Board and the Southern Regional Education Board. Governor Dalton emphasized improving state government's performance while curbing its growth. He also settled the federal lawsuit on the desegregation of Virginia's institutions of higher education. Dalton died of lung cancer in 1986. Dalton Intermediate School in Radford, Virginia, and Dalton Hall, a building at Radford University that houses dining facilities and the university bookstore, are both named for Dalton.

John Dalton Papers, College of William and Mary

Executive Papers of Governor Dalton, Library of Virginia

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