• Spring 2014

    Volume 36, Number 3

    Virginia Tech Magazine, spring 2014

  • Points of pride are reasons to return

    Tom Tillar '69

    Whether you were last on campus as a student or as a visiting alum, Virginia Tech has more to see than ever.

    This year is a perfect time to visit campus and take in some rather spectacular additions and visitor attractions. The coming football season offers seven home games and quite a few events specifically for alumni to reconnect with each other and see the campus. Separate homecomings for each of our eight academic colleges; reunions for six anniversary classes; a young alumni reunion; and homecomings for the Corps of Cadets, Highty-Tighties, Marching Virginians, graduate degree alumni, Student Alumni Associates alumni, former Student Government Association officers, and Order of the Gavel members are spread out across the football schedule. Event schedules are on page 48-49, along with a website address for details and registration information.

    While on campus, stay at the beautiful Inn at Virginia Tech and enjoy the connected Holtzman Alumni Center. Check out the new Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center near the inn.

    Among the must-visit sights are the new Moss Arts Center, the Signature Engineering Building, Theatre 101, and Turner Place Dining Hall at Lavery Hall. With its distinctive presence where Shultz Dining Hall once stood, the Moss Arts Center has dramatically changed the appearance of the Alumni Mall entry off Main Street (Shultz is incorporated into the new facility). The Signature Engineering Building faces Prices Fork Road in the parking lot behind Derring, Cowgill, Whittemore, and Durham halls. Like the arts center, the engineering building is an impressive addition, complete with a Rolls Royce jet aircraft engine suspended four stories high in the central lobby.

    Theatre 101 is a black box theatre with flexible performance space. It sits on a recently renovated College Avenue streetscape that includes more pedestrian walkways and outdoor dining space for restaurants. With eight separate restaurants and a main dining room, Turner Place is the latest award-winning dining facility on campus.

    Several exhibition spaces have been created in recent years to display historical and athletic memorabilia. The Holtzman Alumni Center's museum houses various items showcasing the university's 142-year history. As corps housing is modernized and expanded on the Upper Quad with ongoing construction, a Corps of Cadets display has been assembled in Newman Library. Athletic exhibits are showcased in Lane Stadium, the Merryman Center, and the recently dedicated Hahn-Hurst Basketball Practice Facility. All four offer professionally designed exhibits open on weekdays and some weekends.

    There is plenty to see when you return to campus. Why not make that visit in 2014?

    Tom Tillar '69
    Vice President for Alumni Relations

    Dave Hunt, Communications Director
    Shirley Fleet, Class Notes Editor
  • Hokie Day 2014

    Hokie Day at the Virginia General Assembly

    One hundred and eighty Virginia Tech alumni and students attended the 16th annual Hokie Day at the General Assembly. The day began with breakfast and presentations by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger, Vice President for Alumni Relations Tom Tillar, and others. After being briefed on university priorities, participants headed for the Capitol to visit legislators. The delegation posed with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on the Capitol steps.
  • Columbarium

    Virginia Tech columbarium

    A fourth of the niches in the first section of the Virginia Tech columbarium near the Holtzman Alumni Center are still open for reservation. Call Jay Whitlow at 540-231-6285 or visit

    Spring 2014

    Training Ground: The education of Timothy D. Sands, Virginia Tech's next president

    Flight Formation: Virginia Tech experts send drones skyward

    High-Tech Harvest: Helping eastern U.S. wineries find their niche

    Mining for Neutrinos

    Danielle Talamantes: Debuting on one of opera's biggest stages

  • Digital
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    digital "flip" edition 'Flip' version

    view or download PDF PDF

    Hokie football games add flavor to class reunions and homecomings

    Highty-Tighty Alumni band

    2014 class reunions

    Class reunions from the 25th through the 50th anniversaries are held at five-year intervals. Each reunion includes optional campus tours, an afternoon presentation by current students, a Friday evening meal, and plenty of time for reminiscing and dancing. Saturdays feature a morning brunch and pregame festivities. The exception to the typical Friday/Saturday reunion agenda is for a Thursday evening game, when the banquet follows on Friday. Special seating is arranged for the reunion registrants at Tech's sold-out games, and rooms are set aside at The Inn at Virginia Tech.

    Sept. 20 – Georgia Tech
    Class of 1974 – 40th Reunion
    Class of 1979 – 35th Reunion
    Sept. 27 – Western Michigan
    Class of 1964 – 50th Reunion
    Oct. 23 – Miami
    Class of 1984 – 30th Reunion
    Class of 1989 – 25th Reunion
    Nov. 1 – Boston College
    Class of 1969 – 45th Reunion
    Nov. 28 – Virginia
    Young Alumni Reunion

    2014 homecomings

    Homecomings are hosted throughout the football season. Programs for the eight academic colleges are spread across the home schedule, along with other special homecomings for graduate-degree alumni and Corps of Cadets alumni. Homecomings are open to all alumni of the host groups, regardless of graduation year. In each case, there is a game-day gathering, pregame tailgate food, and the opportunity to reunite with friends, faculty, and staff. Lodging and game tickets (if needed) are available to registrants on a first-come, first-served basis, so it's best to register early.

    Aug. 30 – William & Mary
    Veterinary Medicine
    Graduate School
    Sept. 13 – East Carolina
    Corps of Cadets
    College of Natural Resources and Environment
    College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
    Sept. 20 – Georgia Tech
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
    Sept. 27 – Western Michigan (Homecoming Parade)
    Alumni Center Open House and Tailgate
    College of Engineering
    Student Affairs: SGA and Order of the Gavel
    Marching Virginians
    Oct. 23 – Miami
    College of Science
    Nov. 1 – Boston College
    Pamplin College of Business
    Nov. 28 – Virginia
    College of Architecture and Urban Studies
    Student Alumni Associates 45th Reunion

    Come home: For more information on the 2014 homecomings and reunions, visit

    Seeking nominations

    Board of Directors: The Alumni Association is seeking nominations for its board of directors for the next three-year term, beginning in 2015. Nominations are due by June 1.

    Multicultural Alumni Advisory Board: Nominations are invited for the board that represents the interests of multicultural alumni constituencies. The board works closely with the Alumni Association and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

    Outstanding Recent Alumni Award: The Alumni Association invites nominations for the 2014-15 Outstanding Recent Alumni Awards, which recognize professional achievement and leadership by alumni who have graduated since 2004. Nominations are due by Aug. 15.

    For both boards and the recent alumni award, please include the nominee's full name, class year, address, and specific qualifications for the nomination. Self-nominations are welcome. Mail nominations to Virginia Tech Alumni Association, Holtzman Alumni Center (0102), 901 Prices Fork Rd., Blacksburg, VA 24061.

    Alumni Humanitarian Award: Nominations are invited for the Humanitarian Award, which is presented to an alum who has performed exceptional service outside his or her profession or career. The scope of service should have significant regional, national, or international impact.

    The nomination form is available at

    Something for everyone at alumni chapter events

    Local alumni chapters provide opportunities for Hokies to network, socialize, and promote their alma mater. Last year, more than 115 chapters held more than 1,000 events in their local communities, with 600 alumni volunteers giving back in the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

    Chapter events include
    • Visiting speakers from Virginia Tech
    • Wine tastings
    • Professional networking events
    • Student send-offs
    • Strong Together events
    • Game-watching gatherings
    • Holiday celebrations

    "With the volume of events being hosted throughout the Hokie Nation, there always is something of interest for everyone," said Debbie Day, associate vice president for alumni relations. To find a chapter where you live, visit, and select "Find Your Chapter."

    Sports and activities
    Cheering on the Hokies is as popular among chapters throughout the country as on campus. Chapters sometimes take an active approach to sports by forming local leagues. For instance, in 2013, the Chicago chapter won its first beach volleyball championship. The Manhattan Hokies gather in the summer for softball; last year they celebrated their fifth season and defeated U.Va.'s New York City alumni chapter. "It's always better to win," said Casey Lee (finance '04), "but we celebrate together after each game." The Kentucky chapter combined serious physical challenges and service last October when alumni competed in their first Tough Mudder. The globally recognized race with military-style obstacles, adapted for civilian participation, raises donations that support the Wounded Warrior Project. "We could not think of a better way to live Ut Prosim and put our Hokie Spirit to the test," said Jordan McCauley (sociology '12).

    Community events
    Many chapters hold special events unique to their own communities. For example, the Eastern Shore chapter sponsors an annual oyster roast, which averages 200 attendees. The roast features a silent auction, and an admissions representative attends to meet with prospective students. Such events usually benefit scholarships for local students entering Virginia Tech.

    Virginia Tech alumni service event in El Paso, Texas

    Community service in El Paso, Texas, before the Sun Bowl

    Community service
    Many chapters coordinate service projects, including efforts connected with Virginia Tech bowl games. Last December, alumni in El Paso, Texas, joined members of the current Corps of Cadets Color Guard to refurbish planting beds at the Old Fort Bliss Replica. "We're excited to see Virginia Tech here coupling football and service—two things that make us very proud," said Blythe Hogeboom (international studies '95), who was participating with her husband, Patrick (civil engineering '94), and three sons.

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