Fall 2017 Corps Review    |    Back

From left, Congressman Rob Wittman ‘81, Gen. Carlton “Dewey” Everhart ‘83, and J. Pearson ‘87 cheer on the Hokies during Corps Reunion.

From left, Congressman Rob Wittman ‘81, Gen. Carlton “Dewey” Everhart ‘83, and J. Pearson ‘87 cheer on the Hokies during Corps Reunion.
From left, Congressman Rob Wittman ‘81, Gen. Carlton “Dewey” Everhart ‘83, and J. Pearson ‘87 cheer on the Hokies during Corps Reunion.

Chairman’s Column
By J. Pearson ’87, chairman, Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Alumni Inc.

We finished our Corps Reunion this fall with awesome attendance and enthusiasm. 

Our events kicked off Friday, Sept. 22, with our full board meeting. Finance Officer Dave Spracher ’70 gave us an update, and the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is in good financial shape. John Dooley, chief executive officer of the Virginia Tech Foundation, reported that Virginia Tech had a record year in donations and our return on investment was in the top three of ACC schools.

Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart provided us with a state of the Corps review. Having the Corps completely in two, new residence halls, Pearson Hall and New Cadet Hall, is terrific!  

As you’ll see elsewhere, this is an important year for us to hopefully receive funding for the third and very important building, the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building. In addition, it’s very important that the Corps be properly funded to meet its mission. I hope Virginia alumni will all join me in letting your representatives know just how important this new building and funding for the Corps is.

Our new deputy commandant for 1st Battalion, Capt. Peter Phillips ’89, introduced himself. He served as a Navy Seal and is eager to help our cadets thrive. Plus we have a new professor of military science, U.S. Army Col. Paul Mele. He is both a Virginia Military Institute and Virginia Tech grad. His wife went to Virginia Tech as well. We all welcomed him back home. 

I would like to ask you to include our advancement task force leader, Deb Tillotson ’78, in your prayers as she battles illness. We hope and pray we will see her at our next meeting.

We adjourned and went off to formal retreat on the new “VT” sidewalk in front of Lane Hall. We have held formation behind Lane Hall for more than three years during the construction of the residence halls. The Corps never looked better together in front of Lane Hall. 

Later that evening, we had our leadership dinner at The Inn at Virginia Tech. Seven decades of Corps alumni attended, and several cadets spoke to us about their jobs in the Corps. We also were reminded that Maj. Stan Cohen ’49 passed away. We always enjoyed his stories and, of course, his flyovers from the Tri-State Warbird Museum. His son, Ron, continues his legacy and sponsored the C-45 “Hokey Pokey” at our first home game this fall. 

We adjourned by having an alumni vs cadet rendition of Old Hokie. We won! I must admit there were a lot more of us, but who is counting?

Over 200 of us marched on the field on Saturday, Sept. 23, before we whipped Old Dominion, 38-0. Maj. Gen. Tim Williams ’83, the Virginia
National Guard adjutant general, provided two F-22s for the flyover. Yes, I did gaze up during formation to watch them. I was so proud to be a part of our organization and an American.

The last event for the weekend was our Saturday night dinner. Congressman Rob Wittman ‘81 was our guest speaker. I also asked Gen. Carlton “Dewey” Everhart ’83, who is the commanding general of Air Mobility Command, to speak to us as well. He was inducted into the Air Force ROTC Detachment 875 Aviation Wall of Fame. Rob, Dewey, and myself joined the Corp on the sideline to cheer on the Hokies during Enter Sandman. It was a fantastic time!

Please join me in thanking my bud, Col. Patience Larkin ’87, for again organizing another wonderful homecoming. Patience and her staff did a super job. The commandant and his wife, Kathy Fullhart, also worked tirelessly to make sure the weekend was a success. Here’s hoping that even more of you will join us next year for Corp Reunion. We want an even bigger crowd to share in the fun with our Corps family!

Please remember: As alumni we must communicate, participate, and donate!