Virginia Tech Magazine
Alumni Association News
Winter 2009

Holtzman Alumni Center
A culture of service
More than 135 years ago, Virginia Tech was born under a new college model that allowed young people who previously had not had access to higher education to prepare themselves for careers in a largely agrarian and expanding industrial-skills workforce.
Tom Tillar '69
In 1872, Virginia's General Assembly passed legislation to create the commonwealth's first land-grant college, Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (VAMC). VAMC students were, for the most part, the first in their families to attend college, and they were thankful to have the opportunity to do so following the nation's divisive civil war. These students were eager to use their degrees to serve others by helping to improve their quality of life.

In the 1890s, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) was coined as the university's official motto, and while it was fitting then, it is even more so today. The world has come to know the Hokie Nation in a new way during the past year, when alumni and friends of the university performed hundreds of thousands of service hours across the country and around the world as part of VT-ENGAGE.

This service program was launched to inspire members of the Hokie Nation to serve their communities in honor of the victims of April 16, 2007.

Among other projects, alumni conducted blood drives and became involved with Habitat for Humanity and food drives. VT-ENGAGE, which logged 600,000 volunteer service hours in less than 12 months, is still thriving, and the Alumni Association board has added a new slogan, "The Hokie Nation Serves," in the hope that the university community's commitment to service will become a permanent tradition. Many service projects are planned for this upcoming spring, including an alumni-student service trip to the Dominican Republic in March.

The Hokie Nation, which today is bonded more than at any time in our history, will continue to demonstrate the power of our highest value: service. We are a community of more than 200,000 strong that remains committed to the legacy handed down to us by our early founders.

Tom TIllar '69

Tom Tillar '69
Vice President for Alumni Relations

In this issue

. 2008-09 Alumni Board of Directors

. The Hokie Nation serves

. Growing emphasis on Multicultural Alumni Programs

. Class of '58 celebrates 50th reunion

. Alumni and students work together in international service

Virginia Tech