Jeannie Baliles

The former First Lady of Virginia was a co-chair for her 50th Class Reunion and serves on the Alumni Board.

After graduation, Ms. Baliles went on to earn a M.A.T. in history from Wesleyan University. She was inducted into the Delta Kappa Gamma honor society (education). Ms. Baliles is the founder and chairman of the Virginia Literary Foundation and served as the Chairman of the Virginia Opera.

She has served as a trustee on the Virginia Environmental Endowment, the Community Foundation of Central Virginia, and the Jenkins Foundation. She has also served on the board of Wolf Trap, the Nature Conservancy, the Jamestown-Yorktown Trust, YMCA, and the Historic Richmond Foundation. She is active in Democrat Party politics.

A former First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Jeannie has two grown children, Laura A. Baliles and Jonathan T. Baliles. She enjoys travel, tennis, gardening, and yoga.

Campus Involvement
  • Alumni Board, Chair, Nominations Committee

Since Graduation

1964 received M.A.T. in history from Wesleyan University 1964 married Gerald L. Baliles - later VA delegate, Attorney General, Governor of VA - 1986 - 1990 Served as First lady of Virginia Mother of Laura (now 43) and Jonathan (now 41) The past 50 years have been happily spent in both public and private life. My dedication to Washington College has been evidenced in my service on the Board of Visitors and Governors (1991-1999), the Alumni Board (2008 - 2011) and Trustee Emeriti (since 2000)

I also served on the Presidential Search Committees that selected John Toll and Mitchell Reiss as Presidents of the College. Although raising a family and involving myself in the election campaigns of my husband took an enormous amount of time, many opportunities to be involved in community service became evident. Through the years I have served on the Boards of Wolf Trap, United Way, Communities in Schools (on the national level) as well as numerous education, cultural, historical and social service boards in Virginia. 25 years ago, while First Lady of Virginia, I began the Virginia Literacy Foundation, still considered the premier public-private literacy organization in the U.S. My involvement continues. At this time, I serve on the Boards of Virginia Union University (an HBCU institution), Virginia Opera, Richmond Ballet, the Jenkins Foundation (health care) and Virginians for the Arts. In addition, I provide strategic planning and development assistance to numerous 501-c3 organizations as a volunteer. Following a divorce in 1996, my life has continued as a community and civic leader. Travel has been a continued pursuit.

Every few years I rent a home (Tuscany, Provence, Normandy - this past May) and invite 40 or so of my friends to visit during the month. It is all about the opportunity to discover the culture, history, food and wines of the regions, not to mention bringing together diverse people for conversation and conviviality. Other places include the major big cities as well as Le Marche, Corfu, Bergen, Devon, Montenegro, Trieste and Patagonia. Life is good…