Global, Ethical Leaders

Needed now, more than ever

by Maj. Gen. Randal D. Fullhart

There was a time—thankfully long past—when the future of the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech was in doubt. Today, one has only to look at the construction projects on the Upper Quad and the faces of the young men and women in a corps now numbering more than 1,000 to know that the embodiment of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) is stronger than ever.

Rendering of the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building

Rendering of the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building, courtesy of the Clark Nexsen firm

Construction of two new residence halls for the Corps of Cadets began this summer. Scheduled to be completed in just three years, they will form a home for cadets for decades to come. Also rising is the new Corps Leadership and Military Science Building, which will serve as the home for the commandant's staff, the Rice Center for Leader Development, the Corps of Cadets museum, ROTC staffs, and classrooms.

The corps is a four-year, multigenerational, in-residence, leader-development community that prepares young men and women to be global, ethical leaders in the public and private sectors, as well as to pursue commissions in the armed services.

As one of only six senior military colleges in the country and the only one to offer an accredited academic minor in leadership, the university has drawn the attention of corporate, social, and government leaders who recognize the value a corps experience adds to a Virginia Tech graduate's capabilities to make a difference in their organizations.

Nowhere is the growth more evident than in the corps' Citizen-Leader Track. Once a relatively small percentage of the overall corps, cadets in this track now number more than 220—and the numbers keep rising. Rather than pursuing a military commission, these cadets are preparing for meaningful service in the public and private sectors. Recruiters from household names such as General Electric, Deloitte, DuPont, Advanced Auto, Disney, Target, and the FBI, as well as defense-related organizations, all realize that they are getting so much more with a corps graduate and are lining up to talk to them.

Rendering of the Upper Quad

Rendering of the Upper Quad, courtesy of the Clark Nexsen firm

With their support for corps facilities and programs, President Charles W. Steger, the Board of Visitors, alumni, and others have demonstrated their appreciation for the corps and its value to Virginia Tech. That support has also extended to those in the commonwealth's executive and legislative branches, who are stepping up to ensure the right amount of funding for a growing corps.

With the arrival of the Class of 2017, the corps is marching forward to its 150th anniversary as one of the most visible, enduring, and valued representations of Virginia Tech's land-grant origins. With the complex challenges facing our nation and the world, now, more than ever, it is time for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. Ut Prosim.

Maj. Gen. Randal D. Fullhart, U.S. Air Force (retired), is the commandant of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

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