It's a small world

I am a 1952 graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in forestry and wildlife management. I worked for the USDA Forest Service in the West and Midwest for 42 years before retiring in 1996. Several years before I retired, I had the opportunity to be detailed to Kenya for three weeks to help in training East African natural resource professionals from Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda in methods they could use to inventory the important bamboo resource in their countries. One day while we were all out in the woods in a stand of bamboo, a long way from home, I asked one of the Sudanese foresters where he had gone to school. Proudly, he said he had gotten his master's degree in forest products utilization at--where else?--Virginia Tech! It made me realize again how small the world is and how long the reach of my old school is.

John S. Spencer '52
St. Paul, Minn.

Pride in the corps

As parents of a Virginia Tech student, we enjoy getting your magazine. Every issue reinforces the fact that we have sent our son to a great institution. Each year, we fly down from the Northeast for Parents' Day in the fall. After the horrendous terrorist acts of Sept. 11, this year's visit was extra special. You see, our son is a junior in your prestigious Corps of Cadets. While we watched them "Pass in Review" on the Drillfield we realized that upon graduation, a large number of these men and women will be commissioned as officers in the various branches of our Armed Services--soon to be leaders in this new war on terrorism. The Corps of Cadets and ROTC programs have done a tremendous job of preparing these young men and women for leadership. May the lessons they learn at Tech help to keep them safe and well in these dangerous times ahead. Our son's instant message on Sept. 11 was "Sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, both foreign and domestic." He, like other cadets, is ready to do whatever needs to be done to defend this country. We are very proud of our son and his accomplishments at Virginia Tech as well as being proud of the Corps of Cadets.

Arthur and Pam Nichols
Andover, Mass.

We forgot what?!

While reading the article on "Hokie Fan-atics" (fall 2001), I was reminded of my own Fan-atic experience. I graduated in December 1986 and was lucky enough to include a trip to the Peach Bowl at the end of my college career. A group of us got together and made the trek to Atlanta for the big game. Upon arriving, my friend realized that she had left the tickets in Martinsville, Va.! She was all set to go back and get them when I reminded her that we had two friends in Richmond who had not left and that we could send them to Martinsville before they came to Atlanta. Fortunately, they were able to do just that. They met my friend's mom at 3 a.m. at a fast-food place, got the tickets, and arrived in Atlanta at 8 a.m. (with the kickoff being at noon). One of them was fighting a cold and they were both exhausted, so the rest of us vacated the hotel room and let them rest before the game. It was a great game with the Hokies beating N.C. State with "The Kick" (four seconds left and Chris Kinzer hits the long field goal). I couldn't have planned a better ending for my college experience than that. I still follow Hokie football and try to get to Blacksburg for homecoming every year. My friend who left the tickets in Martinsville lives in Blacksburg, and no, we haven't let her forget this incident!

Gretchen Rasdorf '86
Washington, N.C.