Fitting award

Chris Wise, formerly the director of recreational sports, was recently named the assistant vice president for student affairs, providing leadership to five departments focused on health and wellness.


How did Virginia Tech become the fittest campus in America?

In naming Virginia Tech the fittest campus in America, the Active Times referenced other ranking systems and general facts about our university. My favorite part, though, is the review of Niche, a website where our students tell other students all about the school they call home.

I went online to check out the site. As I scrolled through that first page of reviews, I couldn't suppress a smile, as nearly all postings boasted 4- and 5-star rankings. By both students and the media, Virginia Tech is celebrated and respected as an extraordinary university, and it's an honor that we're touted for an atmosphere of overall well-being and fitness.

The atmosphere begins at orientation. Students walk all over our campus and end one of their nights exploring McComas Hall, the newest gym on campus. Then, students who attend Hokie Camp and Hokie Hi events are treated to even more fast-paced fun.


First published Oct 5, 2015

Chris Wise discusses the dimensions of wellness and the resources offered to Tech students.

When classes begin, the action continues. We don't have the largest fitness center in the state, much less in the country, but we have really good ones that provide students exactly what they need. Seventy-eight percent of Virginia Tech students utilize the recreational sports facilities on campus. That's a remarkable number, but our goal is to reach 100 percent of our students, and we won't stop until we get there.

The Department of Recreational Sports offers 31 sports clubs and serves more than 13,000 participants each year through our intramural program. Our exercise classes have lines out the door, and group and individual training and our fitness facilities allow opportunities for students to work out however they want.

Outside of recreational sports, the Corps of Cadets sets a tone for active lifestyles and the development of discipline for a lifetime. And, of course, we have outstanding varsity athletic programs.

When we talk about being "fit," most people think of physical fitness. While that component is a primary reason for this ranking, fitness speaks to a well-rounded lifestyle. It takes body, mind, and spirit to be fully well. Most recently, our division has combined forces with Human Resources to create Hokie Wellness, which now encompasses both employee and student health. Our faculty and staff are the best role models for our students on campus; if they are pursuing a healthy lifestyle, our students will, too.

Our top-ranked dining centers boast organically grown, sustainable foods. Our students have access to the freshest ingredients through our homemade recipes and healthy options. With nutritionists on staff, Dining Services is dedicated to educating the Virginia Tech community about healthy living.

Being named the fittest campus in America is a title that our university deserves. We're honored beyond words by this recognition and thrilled to use this as motivation to keep improving what we're doing to best serve Virginia Tech.