CORPS OF CADETS
From the members of the first classes to permit women in the 1970s to the most-recent graduates, alumnae of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets (VTCC) return to campus with a desire to serve, to remember, and to share. Together with today's female cadets, they are the Women of the VTCC.
In February, the third annual Women of the VTCC event was held. Keynote speaker Denise Greenfield (international studies '88), a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, was the first female to hold the position of regimental commander, the highest-ranking cadet in the corps. Commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, she served both on active duty and then in the reserves while balancing a civilian career.
After breakfast, cadets attending the event split into career group sessions, during which the visiting alumnae shared their experiences and gave advice on military and civilian careers and family life. A highlight for many cadets was the opportunity to personally connect with those women who paved the way for their experiences at Virginia Tech. "It really helped me to hear from women who did the same things that I am going through right now and to see them as my role models," said sophomore meteorology major Wendy Zehner, a cadet and Naval ROTC member.
U.S. Navy Lt. Vanessa Rigoroso (international studies '06) attended the event as a way to give back, but she also found herself benefiting from the experience. "I thought this was such a great idea in terms of bonding [with] the women of the VTCC, both past and present, and bringing about such a sense of belonging. As an alumna, I also learned a lot from the experience. As much as I thought it was going to be only a monologue, the dialogue between the [women] on the panel and the cadets both during and after the event continues to be eye-opening and refreshing."
In addition to attending the annual breakfast, current female cadets take part in training courses, awareness programs, and networking events throughout the year. These events include a Rape Aggression Defense program led by the Virginia Tech Police Department and the Mentors in Violence Prevention programs coordinated by the Women's Center.
The fourth annual Women of the VTCC event is set for Feb. 15, 2014, and all corps alumnae are invited to attend. A shared bond continues to bring these women together, as cadets of yesterday and today answer a common call.
Produced by University Relations