President's Message

A real page-turner

by Tim Sands
Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Dr. Laura Sands with senior Ashley Stant

Laura and Tim Sands review the information available on the VT Stories website with Ashley Stant, a senior professional and technical writing major from Hague, Virginia. Photo by Jim Stroup.

Almost two years ago, we boldly began to imagine the future of higher education.

Today, we're turning our vision into reality. As you'll see in our cover story, things are taking shape in exciting and sometimes surprising ways. We are breaking new ground in research, development, diversity, and the student experience. We are poised to grow and expand our presence in Virginia, across the nation, and around the globe.

As our future develops, we are also taking steps to honor and preserve our history. When Laura and I first came to Virginia Tech, we were welcomed by alumni from around the country, and we were struck by the fact that everyone we met had a story. Some were funny. Some were painful. Some reflected the struggles of our university community as it grew and evolved. Many were inspirational. These personal stories highlight the value of hands-on learning as they intersect with our work to advance research, discovery, and outreach. As Laura put it, the lived experiences of our alumni are a "storehouse of knowledge and wisdom" that can greatly benefit our graduates as they approach the challenges of the next generation.

Every story is part of the collective Hokie experience that made Virginia Tech what it is today. Recognizing the historic value of these personal moments, Laura joined representatives from various areas across campus to develop a plan to record and preserve our stories. The result is a new, online collection called VT Stories. You can learn more about the project in this edition of Virginia Tech Magazine.

Whether you're a long-time member of our community or will be joining us next fall as part of the class of 2021, I hope you'll visit Please consider adding your own experiences to the project.

At Virginia Tech, we understand that reaching our full potential begins with respect for where we have been and a clear vision for where we want to go. I hope you'll be part of our next remarkable chapter as Virginia Tech's future continues to unfold.

Tim Sands is Virginia Tech's 16th president.