Summer 2017 Corps Review | Back
By Commandant of Cadets Maj. Gen. Randal D. Fullhart, U.S. Air Force (retired)
We’ve been keeping readers informed about our evolving programs and, certainly, the renaissance of the Upper Quad with our new buildings. This summer it is all coming together!
We just bid farewell to the graduating class of 2017. Combined with our fifth-year graduates, we had 264 cadets cross the stage at Burruss Hall. Of them, 149 cadets received their commissions, and 75 percent of our graduating Citizen-Leader Track cadets had career-starting jobs or acceptance into graduate programs before graduation!
Looking ahead, the entire Corps will once again be all together on the Upper Quad as we open New Cadet Hall, our second new residence hall. The “VT” sidewalk and plaza are reimagined with the new flagpole rising high above, the cannons in place, The Rock returned, and Addison Caldwell’s statue showing the way up the hill from Alumni Mall to Lane Hall.
Speaking of Lane Hall, it is painted in light each night and is part of the vista as you walk or drive up Alumni Mall, framed between the lights coming from the bay windows of the residence halls. The flagpole atop Lane Hall is reinforced, and we will return flags there, as well.
The grommets are in place for the regimental buglers. The seat walls by each barrack, made of bricks from Barracks No. 2 and No. 3, each have seven lights representing the seven Medal of Honor recipients, and the names of the Pylons are etched in stone above the doors that cadets pass through daily.
A special tribute to Cadet Matthew La Porte, who was killed in the April 16, 2007, tragedy, is a unique cobblestone installed at the base of the plaza flagpole. The plaza will be the site for other monuments, such as the Desert Shield/Desert Storm memorial. Previous memorials to individuals will be reinstalled as part of the landscape of the Upper Quad.
Beyond the physical, our recently re-accredited minor in leadership is complete and will include courses picked to enhance the experience of our cadets and to ensure that more of our Citizen-Leader Track cadets will be able to earn the minor.
Our second group of Global Scholar cadets traveled to Normandy and Paris after completing a semester-long study of leaders and leadership around the D-Day operation. Thanks to a grant, a member of our staff is scoping out locations for a possible new trip focused on key events during World War I.
Our new ambassador, Growley II (call sign “Tank”), is spending the summer in the northern Virginia area and is attending some Corps events in that area before returning to campus in August to be part of New Cadet Week.
Speaking of New Cadet Week, our junior and senior cadre have been selected and, along with the sophomore blackshirts, will be coming back early to prepare for their training, as well as the return of the rest of the Corps!
Band camp will be conducted during that same time. The Highty-Tighties are coming off a strong year of performances, including the Battle at Bristol in Tennessee and the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C. They wrapped up the year with a tremendous concert in the Moss Arts Center, along with the Southern Colonels jazz band and the Pipe and Drum Team. They have some exciting plans for next year, so stay tuned for future announcements!
Dates have already been announced for the Corps Reunion and Virginia Tech Homecoming, which includes the Highty-Tighty Reunion. And we are looking forward to taking the first-year cadets on our annual visit to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.
On the future front, I’m more than pleased to announce that the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has given the green light for our Corps Leadership and Military Science Building to go to the governor and legislature for their support. Our alumni and friends continue to do their part to provide the private financial support, and the preliminary design is complete. All that is left is for the representatives in Richmond to do their part!
We also are bringing some exciting enhancements to how we stay connected and communicate with our terrific alumni. To better align the Corps Review magazine with events, we are shifting to a two-edition per year schedule, aligned with the fall and spring semesters. Beyond the print versions that are well-received and adorning coffee tables in homes, we are taking advantage of the Web. We will also be offering online versions of the magazine with expanded articles and videos that just aren’t possible in the print editions. And we are excited to offer a new section (both print and online) that we know you will be excited about!
As you know, we have wonderful volunteers from each of our class years called class champions. These are your classmates who are working to help you stay connected with your buds and to help us keep you apprised of what your Corps is doing. You can now share your news — about jobs, new family members, and other exciting things you’re involved in — with the class champions and the rest of our alumni through our new Class Notes section. This is the first section in my alma mater’s magazine that I turn to, and know that it will be the same for you, too! Submit your Class Notes and photos to us at vtcc.vt.edu/classnotes.
Well, hopefully you have a flavor for what an exciting year this is shaping up to be. We can’t wait to welcome the class of 2021 and to watch the upperclass cadets hone their leadership skills. We look forward to seeing many of you back on campus throughout the year and to see your faces as you tour the Upper Quad and feel the history surrounding you — a history that you all are a part of.
Thanks for reading. And thanks for your essential support to your Corps!