Richard Bishop is a Christiansburg native who earned his bachelor’s in Building Construction in 1967. His older brother, Wayne, also went to Virginia Tech. Richard briefly worked for an engineering firm in Philadelphia before returning to Blacksburg to build the Draper’s Meadow West apartment project. Richard continued to land jobs of growing responsibility on projects for other companies, and then founded Columbia Builders with two partners in 1975. They developed single family homes, townhomes and apartments in Columbia, Maryland. By the time Richard retired in 1994, he had a $20 million a year business that was completing 75 to 125 units a year.
Along with the lead gift for Bishop-Favrao Hall, Richard’s philanthropy includes funding scholarships and supporting a variety of programs within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (now college of Architecture, Arts and Design), as well as being a Lifetime Golden Hokie for his generosity to university athletics.
He and his wife, Kristen, are charter members of the Ut Prosim Society’s President’s Circle, the highest distinction for donors to the university.
Richard also has given generously of his time. He is a committee member for the ongoing Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future, and also served on the quiet phase Campaign Steering Committee. He has served on many of the university’s leadership groups, including the Building Construction Advisory Board, the Myers-Lawson School of Construction Advisory Board, the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Advisory Council (now College of Architecture, Arts and Design), and both the board and the development committee of the Virginia Tech Foundation.