Jay Raymond Sculley – Captain, United States Air Force

Former Department Head, BOV Member, Civil Servant and Dedicated Alumnus Dr. Jay R. Sculley Dies

The Superintendent regrets to inform the VMI community of the death on January 6, 2007, of Dr. Jay R. Sculley.

Dr. Sculley, 66, was former head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, former member of the VMI Board of Visitors, a former chairman and member of the VMI Research Laboratories Board of Directors, and a member of the VMI International Studies Advisory Board. He died at his home in Vienna, Virginia, after a brief illness.

After his graduation from VMI in 1962, Dr. Sculley served in the U.S. Air Force for nearly three years before attending Johns Hopkins University, where he earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in environmental engineering. He joined the VMI faculty in 1970. In 1981 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition. He was VMI’s first head soccer coach when the program became an intercollegiate sport in 1972, holding that post until 1980. He served as the Superintendent’s representative to the VMI Honor Court. At the time of his death he was a member of the Corporate Advisory Board for Horne International Inc.

In commenting on Dr. Sculley’s passing, James F. Spellman Jr. ’85, President of the VMI Alumni Association, Inc. remarked “We are all saddened to hear of the passing of such a well-rounded and dedicated VMI alumnus. As a faculty member, coach and department head and in his involvement with the BOV and Foundation, Dr. Sculley clearly devoted much energy, enthusiasm and time to a school he loved. We were lucky to have enjoyed his talents and his presence will be missed a great deal.”

Additional information about Dr. Sculley’s service as a BOV member can be found at Horne International Inc. where he was recently appointed to their Corporate Advisory Board.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 23, at 1 p.m. at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel interment will follow at Arlington National Cemetery with Full Military Honors. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, The American Heart Association or the VMI Foundation.

Former Assistant Secretary of the Army Jay Raymond Sculley, 66

  • By Louie Estrada
  • Coutesy of the Washington Post
  • Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jay Raymond Sculley, 66, a retired Air Force officer, professor and engineer who in the 1980s was assistant secretary of the Army for research, development and acquisition, died of cardiac arrest January 6, 2007, at his home in Vienna, Virginia.


Dr. Sculley had been chairman of the engineering department at Virginia Military Institute when, in 1981, President Ronald Reagan named him an Assistant Secretary of the Army with oversight of the office charged with maintaining total preparedness of the Army.

During Dr. Sculley’s eight-year tenure, he was responsible for contracts and purchases of supplies and equipment for the Army at a time in the Cold War when the White House increased military spending to modernize the country’s forces and to bolster its hard-line foreign policy stance against the Soviet Union.

As a key figure in the buildup, Dr. Sculley fielded requests for military combat support systems and other equipment; evaluated bids from potential defense contractors; and determined which contract delivered the best capability at the best purchase price, said retired Army Brigadier General Mike Bissell.

“He was a very smart individual, very intellectual but humble,” said Bissell, who for a time served as an executive officer to Dr. Sculley at the Army Department. “His mind could retain an infinite amount of data. But he also had the ability to focus on people.

If someone wanted to make a modification to the Abrams tank, he knew the people to bring in to the project, the right questions to ask, and he could clearly articulate his position.”

Dr. Sculley, the son of an Air Force officer, was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and grew up on or near numerous military bases, including installations in Newfoundland and Germany.

He was a teenager when his family came to Northern Virginia. He graduated from Annandale High School in 1958 and received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from VMI in 1962.

He then accepted a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force and served three years — including as an aide to the commander in chief of U.S. Air Forces in Europe — before a diagnosis of juvenile diabetes led to his retirement on disability.

Turning to academics, Dr. Sculley received a master’s degree in 1970 and a doctorate in 1974, both in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

He taught at VMI for about 10 years and started its intercollegiate soccer team. He served on VMI’s board of visitors and as chairman of the VMI Research Laboratories board of directors.

A few years after he served as Assistant Secretary of the Army, Dr. Sculley joined what is now Grumman Corp. on Long Island, New York, as vice president of advanced studies and technologies.

From 1992 to 1999, he was chairman and chief executive of what is now Allied Defense Group in McLean, and he was a member of its board of directors until his death.

He also was a member of the advisory board of Horne International in Falls Church, a vice president of Echo Storm Inc. in Suffolk, Va., and an active board member at Shenandoah University.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, PeggyLee Winkel Sculley of Vienna; a daughter, Rebecca Lee Sculley of Denver; a son, Matthew Jay Sculley of Lexington; three brothers; and a sister.


On Saturday, January 6, 2007 at his residence in Vienna, Virginia. Beloved husband of Peggy Lee Sculley; devoted father of Rebecca Lee Sculley and Matthew Jay Sculley; son of the late Raymond and Sheila Sculley; brother of Steven, Mark, and Sean Sculley and Sheila Smith. Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 23, at 1 p.m. at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel interment will follow at Arlington National Cemtery with Full Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, The American Heart Assoction or the VMI Foundation.

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