Spring 2017 Corps Review    |    Back

From left, cadet handlers Zack Sever ’17, Je Zander ’17, and Growley II catch up with J. Pearson on Worsham Field.

From left, cadet handlers Zack Sever ’17, Je Zander ’17, and Growley II catch up with J. Pearson on Worsham Field.
From left, cadet handlers Zack Sever ’17, Je Zander ’17, and Growley II catch up with J. Pearson on Worsham Field.

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

Virginia Tech’s football team completed a 10-win season, the first time in five years. Along with this great season, Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Commandant Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart and team introduced a new ambassador to Virginia Tech. His name is Growley II (call sign “Tank”).

Growley, the dog, is bringing light to all things good with Corps traditions. In fall 2016, thousands of Virginia Tech fans cheered as they watched Growley patrol the sidelines of Worsham Field while chewing on our opponent’s mascot toy. I especially liked to see Growley chewing on the Virginia Cavalier doll. Alumnus Kendall O. Clay VT ’66 provided the mascot dolls of our home opponents for Growley. We greatly appreciate his help, and the fans loved it.

Over this past year, I have had the chance to communicate with our outstanding men’s basketball coach, Buzz Williams. Buzz has become a big fan of the Corps. He invited Gen. Fullhart, cadets, and veterans to visit the team and teach the newfound respect for the National Anthem. 

From left, Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Buzz Williams and J. Pearson.

From left, Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Buzz Williams and J. Pearson.
From left, Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Buzz Williams and J. Pearson.

During one of our talks, I explained the story of Cadet Matt Laporte, who was killed during the 2007 shooting at Norris Hall while defending his fellow students. Buzz wanted to know everything about him and what he did that day. Buzz wants to talk and learn more about it to raise awareness. Buzz has become a Corps supporter and will help us any way he can. We welcome his help and his friendship and wish him good luck.

I was asked by Charles Phlegar, Virginia Tech’s vice president of advancement, to speak to his entire team. He is responsible for development, alumni relations, and university relations. My primary mission was to speak from a donor’s perspective. I appreciated the opportunity to educate his team of more than 300 about the Corps on what we do right and how we can make it better. What a way to reach so many Virginia Tech employees who are on the front lines working with our alumni every day.

Gen. Fullhart and the development team continue to meet with donors as we try to name the new Corps residence hall (old Brodie). We also continue to raise more funds for the Cadet Leadership and Military Science Building to cover the cost of bond interest. We want to make sure the university and the commonwealth have every reason to continue to fund their portions of the project without objection. The design phase on the building has started.

We also continue to raise funds so that one day every cadet receives an Emerging Leader Scholarship. We want to see the scholarship grow in amount each cadet receives to eventually cover the cost of attendance. Please help the commandant and the Corps in any way you can. Our number one goal, as an association, is to help our future alumni cope with the rising cost of an education from Virginia Tech.

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