Changing of the Guard
From the Fall 2016 edition | Back
Old Guard column
By Butch Aaron ’61, president of the Old Guard
The Old Guard Reunion was held in May at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Holtzman Alumni Center. Butch Aaron ’61 was elected president of the Old Guard for 2016.
As the new president, I would like to thank last year’s president, Sam Lionberger ’62, and the Old Guard Advisory Board for planning a great reunion. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Matthew M. Winston Jr. ’90, senior associate vice president for alumni relations, for his welcoming remarks at the class dinners and his closing remarks on the last day of the reunion.
There were 155 members in attendance from Virginia Tech classes as far back as 1942 to the newest Old Guard Class of 1965. I can let this article read like a travel log and tell you about the presentations by university people such as Rachel Holloway, vice provost for academic affairs, who explained the changes in the academic classrooms and the new educational opportunities that are now possible. There was a presentation by the new football coach Justin Fuente, and a presentation by Steve Mouras of the Office of University Planning, who told us about the changes that are being put into motion for the university campus.
There was a presentation by Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart, commandant of cadets. Those of us who are Corps alumni will be happy to know that our Corps of Cadets is growing and thriving with the many changes that are happening on the Virginia Tech campus. The Upper Quad is being remodeled with new dorms, or, as we called them in our day, barracks. A new military building that will house both the ROTC staff with classrooms and the commandant and his staff is in the planning phase.
The Old Guard has the appearance of being for Corps alumni only; however, the Old Guard is not only for Corps, but also for civilian alumni who have graduated over 50 years ago.
Because of this misconception that the Old Guard is for Corps only, we must think toward the future and make a greater effort to encourage those civilian alumni to become more involved with the Old Guard. The Old Guard will need to make some changes as we know it so that our civilian alumni will feel welcome to take part in this great event that is not only informative about Virginia Tech, but also a fun-filled few days with many old friends.
The 2016-17 Old Guard Advisory Board will meet in December to plan the 2017 reunion, but also on the agenda will be a discussion concerning a name change to make the Old Guard more appealing to our civilian alumni. I must say that this is a very necessary topic.
As the current president of the Old Guard, I hope to see you and many new alumni, both Corps and civilian alike, at the Old Guard Reunion, which is scheduled for May 17-19.