From the Fall 2016 edition | Back
By Lt. Col. Dave Williams, ’79, U.S. Army (retired)
If you follow this column, you might recall that in the last Corps Review, I placed a “first call” to young alumni to partner in the recruiting efforts of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets (VTCC). Well, here we are at “five-minute call,” and I’m back to ask for your help as a Corps graduate in recruiting future generations of cadets.
Every year is a blank slate when it comes to recruiting. If we are successful during an academic year, we’ll have about 390 freshmen the following fall, and the Corps’ strength stays at or near 1,100 cadets. If we are less than successful, then the Corps’ strength could fall below our self-imposed floor of 1,050.
Back in my cadet days, five-minute call to growley was where the uniform for the formation and the menu for the meal were announced — the details. So here is the what and where we are hoping you can help the Corps with:
College fairs are the place where admissions officers from across the nation interface with high school juniors and seniors seeking information on and entry into colleges and universities. Virginia Tech’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions routinely asks for our help at these events, and there is no better time to tell the story of Virginia Tech and the VTCC than the short windows of September through November in the fall and February through April in the spring.
If you volunteer to help in this endeavor, we will do our best to avoid overtaxing your time. It would be unusual for a Corps alumni recruiter to do more than one or two college fairs per year, and each college fair is a commitment of roughly four hours of your time.
• If you live in a metropolitan area of Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, or North or South Carolina, we need your help with college fairs both in the spring and the fall.
• If you live in Virginia, we have critical shortages of help in Tidewater, Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, Winchester, Martinsville, and
Personal and individual contact with high school seniors who have been offered admission to Virginia Tech as cadets is the other area on which Corps alumni recruiters are focusing. This can be as simple as a few short, handwritten notes congratulating soon-to-be cadets on their decision to attend Virginia Tech as members of the Corps. A more involved position would be attending a VTCC Parents Club event near your home where you would meet a few upperclass cadets and their parents, as well as entering cadets and their parents. These are great venues to calm frayed nerves and help make the parents of new cadets our allies in retention!
So there you have it. Just like five-minute call was short, this is the short version of what we are asking of Corps alumni, particularly younger alumni. Until we talk again at last call, Ut Prosim.