• Summer 2014

    Volume 36, Number 4

    Virginia Tech Magazine, summer 2014

  • Welcome to Virginia Tech, President Sands

    Tom Tillar '69 with Timothy and Laura Sands;

    Virginia Tech has transitioned once again in its presidency, with Timothy D. Sands assuming the office on June 1. In the university's 142-year history, such a transition has been remarkably infrequent. The shortest transition (possibly on record at any university) was when the third president was named in 1880, but changed his mind before taking office and therefore was never counted officially among our 16 presidents. The longest-serving president, Julian Burruss, led the university two-and-a-half decades. That long of a tenure was rare among institutions, even in the first half of the 20th century.

    History records that each president, particularly those since the early 1960s, has inspired continued growth of university programs, degree offerings, the physical campus, satellite campuses, research, outreach, competitive athletics, and national rankings. According to most rankings and metrics today, Virginia Tech is regarded among the nation's leading universities in a higher-education community of about 4,000 institutions.

    Sands follows modern presidents T. Marshall Hahn Jr., William E. Lavery, James D. McComas, Paul E. Torgersen, and Charles W. Steger. When President Hahn assumed the presidency in 1962, there were barely 6,400 students. His first day in office came nearly 100 years to the day Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Land-Grant Act, which charted the course for a new type of institution centered on expanding curriculums to serve a growing industrial and agricultural national economy. Virginia Tech was among the early institutions established and seeded by these federal matching funds. In 1962, there were just shy of 30,000 living alumni who welcomed their new president.

    Sands took office nearly 152 years after the Morrill Act. And oh, how the landscape has been changed by his predecessors, their administrations, and the faculty. He inherits an enrollment exceeding 31,000, five times more than at the beginning of the Hahn presidency. Expanding enrollments over the past 50 years have yielded an alumni base that has grown by more than 200,000 to the current total of about 238,000.

    A proud Hokie Nation welcomes the university's 16th president and pledges to help him and the university in many ways. As the old saying goes, there is strength in numbers (of alumni). That strength will manifest itself through service to the university and the world beyond, through student recruitment, through mentoring and hiring graduates, through financial support, through athletic fan support, and through advocacy at the state and national levels. Virginia Tech alumni are enthusiastic about and engaged in these and many other ways to advance the university. We welcome Tim Sands and his wife, Laura, as the university's new first family. They are thrilled to be Hokies.

    Tom Tillar '69
    Vice President for Alumni Relations

    Dave Hunt, Communications Director
    Shirley Fleet, Class Notes Editor
  • Pre-game tailgates

    At Ohio State, Saturday, Sept. 6

    – Pre-game tailgate, 3:30-7:30 p.m. (8 p.m. kick-off)
    – The Fawcett Center, Ohio State campus
    – Tailgate foods, munchies, sweets, beverages, cash bar, and pep rally
    – $30 per person. For reservations and more information go to the "football festivities" link at

    At UNC, Saturday, Oct. 4

    – Pre-game tailgate

    At Pittsburgh, Thursday, Oct. 16

    – Pre-game tailgate

    At Duke, Saturday, Nov. 15

    – Pre-game tailgate

    At Wake Forest, Saturday, Nov. 22

    – Tailgate parking—bring your own tailgate, food, and drink, and join other Hokies

    2014 Reunions

    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

    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 40th Reunion

    Details and registration »


    Summer 2014

    From Robots to Romance, Firsts in Virginia Tech History

    First Class: Virginia Tech Carilion's first 40 doctors graduate

    Power Couple: Kirk and Noel Schulz shine at Kansas State

    How Tech Ticks: Feeling Food

  • Digital
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    The Sandses' first week

    Timothy and Laura Sands

    In his first week in office, Tim Sands explored campus with his wife, Laura, greeted guests at a welcome reception, and shared a lighter moment with Board of Visitors member Cordel Faulk '98.

    Timothy Sands

    Alumni community service: The Big Event

    During the annual Big Event on April 5, more than 8,000 students, alumni, and volunteers completed nearly 1,000 community service projects. Each year, alumni serve communities across the country while students serve the New River Valley, resulting in a partnership that embodies the Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) motto and extends service in the name of Virginia Tech.

    The Big Event began in 2002 as a student-run community service effort that has since grown into the second-largest event of its kind in the nation. Each spring, thousands of students, assisted by faculty and staff, come together to complete projects throughout the area, serving residents regardless of socioeconomic status.

    In April 2012, the Charlotte Alumni Chapter, at the prompting of one of its volunteers, Nathan Lavinka (communication, marketing management '11), mirrored the Big Event. As a student, Lavinka was co-director of the campus event. He suggested involving alumni in his chapter area, and volunteers conducted three service projects around Charlotte. In 2013, the Alumni Association challenged more chapters to join the Big Event; several chapters responded by performing service projects from Seattle to New England.

    In 2015, the Big Event will be held on Saturday, April 4. Alumni should make plans early to join this special opportunity to serve their local communities. Along with April 16 Remembrance events, the month has become focused on performing service as alumni, students, faculty, and staff live out the Hokie Nation's motto.

    Virginia Tech alumni chapters

    Alumni from many chapters—including (clockwise from upper left) Seattle, Houston, the New River Valley, and Western Maryland—participated in April service activities. Photos are courtesy of the chapters.

    Virginia Tech alumni chapters

    Each April, the campus sponsors the Run in Remembrance, a Saturday morning 3.2-mile run/walk for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members honoring April 16 victims. The run this year, which took place on April 12, welcomed more than 8,500 participants, several thousand of whom formed a giant "VT" on the Drillfield prior to the run.

    Alumni board elects officers and members

    Matthew M. Winston Jr. '90 and A. Carole Pratt '72
    Matthew M. Winston Jr. '90 and A. Carole Pratt '72

    Alumni Association Board of Directors President Matthew M. Winston Jr. (marketing '90) and board Vice President A. Carole Pratt (biological sciences '72) were recently re-elected to one-year terms. Winston resides in Athens, Georgia, and serves as assistant to the president of the University of Georgia. Pratt, a retired dentist and a policy advisor with the Virginia Department of Health, resides in Dublin, Virginia. Also elected to the board's executive committee were Kendley J. Davenport (public affairs, management '84), Lisa Carter Ellison (finance '86), and Mark S. Lawrence (management '80).

    Newly elected board members include Gordon "Gordy" Bryan (theatre arts '82), Thomas H. Hughes (architecture '80), Michael T. Kender (chemical engineering '83), Adeel S. Khan (accounting and information systems '09), Nathan T. Lavinka (communication, marketing management '11), Jacob A. Lutz (finance '78), and Justin A. Yalung (finance '05). Incumbents elected to a second term were Morgan E. Blackwood (industrial systems engineering '02), Marvin J. Boyd (management science, management '00), and Karen E. Torgersen (elementary education '78, M.B.A. '86).

    2014-15 travel tours

    St. Petersburg, Russia
    Cruise the Waterways of Russia
    AHI, River Victoria
    Aug. 7-20 • $4,445*

    Baltic Treasures
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Nautica
    Aug. 21-Sept. 1 • $4,299* (air included)

    Ireland—Kilkenny, Killarney, and Dublin
    Go Next
    Sept. 19-27 • $2,599*

    Spanish Serenade
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Marina
    Sept. 23-Oct. 4 • $3,999* (air included)

    Accent on the Rivieras
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Marina
    Oct. 3-11 • from $2,499* (air included)

    Treasures of Southern Africa
    Oct. 8-22 • $6,995*

    Cruise the Panama Canal
    AHI, Crystal Cruises
    Nov. 19-30 • $3,290*

    Old Fashioned Holidays in the South
    Go Next, American Queen
    Dec. 5-13 • $2,549*

    Caribbean Getaway
    Vacations To Go, Celebrity Reflection
    Dec. 6-13 • $764*


    Safaris, Sands, and Saris
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Nautica
    Jan. 5-Feb. 5 • $9,999* (air included)

    Mystical Andes and Majestic Fjords
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Marina
    Feb. 2-23 • $5,999* (air included)

    Caribbean Paradise
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Riviera
    Feb. 23-March 5 • $2,799* (air included)

    A Toast to Provence and Burgundy
    Go Next, A-ROSA Stella
    May 1-9 • $3,669*

    Isles and Empires of the Adriatic
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Riviera
    May 2-11 • $2,999* (air included)

    Southern Culture and Civil War
    Go Next, American Queen
    May 14-23 • $4,699*

    River Routes and Channel Crossings
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Marina
    May 18-June 3 • $5,299* (air included)

    Exotic Mediterranean
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Nautica
    May 19-31 • $3,999* (air included)

    Pearls of the Mediterranean
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Riviera
    June 15-23 • $2,699* (air included)
    Coastal Alaska
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Regatta
    July 7-14 • $2,299* (air included)

    Passage of Lewis and Clark Expedition
    Go Next, American Steamboat Company's American Empress
    July 18-26 • $3,795*

    Nordic Pathways
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Marina
    Aug. 1-14 • $5,499* (air included)

    Baltic Marvels
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Nautica
    Aug. 19-27 • $2,999* (air included)

    Jewels of the Aegean and Holy Lands
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Riviera
    Sept. 16-27 • $4,299* (air included)

    Iberian Princes and Palaces
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Marina
    Oct. 23-Nov. 3 • $3,799* (air included)

    Mediterranean Artistic Discoveries
    Go Next, Oceania Cruises' Riviera
    Nov. 6-18 • $3,999* (air included)

    Go Next
    TBA • $4,599-4,999* (round-trip airfare to Miami is additional)
    More information »

    * Dates and prices are subject to change. Pricing is based per person on double occupancy without air, except as noted. Free air is based from select North American gateway cities. The Alumni Association encourages all alumni to consider purchasing travel insurance.

    Travel testimonials

    Jim '64 and Mary Jones (left) and Jon '58 and Jill Loker (right)
    Jim '64 and Mary Jones (left) and Jon '58 and Jill Loker (right)

    Jim '64 and Mary Jones
    Splendors Down Under Cruise, Oceania, Feb. 21-March 11
    In searching for something really special to do to commemorate our 50th anniversary, my wife and I came across a brochure from Virginia Tech about a trip to Australia and New Zealand. The price was very reasonable, and one of the departure cities was our hometown of Richmond, Virginia. What a great time! Tour coordinator Go Next and Virginia Tech combined to make this the trip of a lifetime. In addition to the beautiful scenery of Australia and New Zealand, we attended a number of events on board hosted by Tech. We enjoyed spending time and sharing memories with the Hokies we met. There were alumni from about 20 universities on board, but our Tech contingent was one of the largest. The Oceania cruise line was top-notch and added to the enjoyment. We look forward to joining fellow Hokies on future trips.

    Jon '58 and Jill Loker
    Tahitian Jewels, Oceania, March 26-April 5
    We've been on numerous cruises but consider the Tahitian Jewel cruise on Oceania's Marina to be our favorite. It was the trip of a lifetime. The turquoise blue waters of the South Pacific and French Polynesian islands are so beautiful. This trip made for a fine way to celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary—and, of course, we had to purchase some Tahitian black pearls! Furthermore, traveling with great Hokies helped top it off. The Alumni Association picked a real winner and served us well. The alumni travel director, Gwen Harrington, was a terrific help and a super host (complemented by her husband, Mike).

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