Spring 2017 Corps Review    |    Back

Sandi Bliss, Chief Advancement Officer, Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets

Sandi R. Bliss
Sandi R. Bliss

By Scott Lyman ’84, assistant director of development

I have some great news to report: Sandi R. Bliss has joined our advancement staff as the new chief of advancement officer for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

Bliss comes to us with more than 12 years of fundraising experience. Most recently, she was the senior development officer for central initiatives and scholarships at the University of Miami Office of the Provost.

Bliss’ work there as the lead fundraiser included a $500 million campaign for new student housing. Before that, she spent seven years fundraising for the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology at Oklahoma State University, where she led the efforts to double the college’s fundraising goal a year ahead of schedule.

Bliss has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in family sciences from Oklahoma State University.

I am pleased to report that through your generous gifts to the Corps, our annual giving numbers are up. As of Dec. 31, 2016, we raised nearly $3.4 million to support both the Corps and its cadets.

The next several years will be both challenging and rewarding as we move into the next phase of our fundraising efforts. In the past several years, many of you established scholarships in your name to support a cadet. We must double our efforts if we are to be able to support every cadet with a scholarship.

If you are unable to pledge $100,000 for a named scholarship, you can always contribute to your class scholarship or to an existing named scholarship. You just need to ask what the Corps needs.

We must increase our scholarship endowments to ensure we outpace the rising costs of a college education. Our cadets are some of the finest young men and women at this university. It needs to be our mission to ensure that these cadets have what they need to make a difference in our country. As Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart, the commandant of cadets, has said in the past, “Our nation needs more ethical leaders, now more than ever.”

We still have numerous rooms available for naming opportunities in the Corps Leadership and Military Science (CLMS) Building of $25,000 and up. To ensure the successful start of that construction project, we need to have the remaining rooms spoken for as soon as possible.

This spring will mark the second phase of the 15th annual Caldwell March. Last fall, we had more than 142 alumni, parents, and friends support 126 first-year cadets during on the first phase of the march. Your support brought in nearly $111,000.

Naming Opportunities:
Corps Leadership and Military Science Building

The following donors have taken advantage of CLMS naming opportunities since the fall Corps Review:

  • Patricia and Stephen W. Pavlik ’60 in honor of Col. and Mrs. “Rock” Roszak ’71
  • Sue and John Trimble ’44

A rendering of the interior of the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building.

A rendering of the interior of the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building.
A rendering of the interior of the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building.

Annual Fund
By Randy Holden, director of annual giving

Each spring, members of the Corps of Cadets join civilian students from across campus in the Student Calling Center to contact Corps alumni to build relationships, provide updates about the university, and promote investing in higher education. By working with trained callers, cadets have the opportunity to create bonds with former members of the Corps and learn how the cadet experience helped prepare them for life after graduation.

During the week of calls, the Student Calling Center is visited by Gen. Fullhart and members of the development team, who update the callers on the new achievements of the current cadets and provide more information on the upcoming Caldwell March.

The calling team also helps solicit support from alumni, such as yourself, for the Commandant’s Priorities Fund, which helps fund the greatest needs of the Corps of Cadets. This support helps the Corps as it maintains a student body of more than 1,000 cadets while continuing to improve the leader-development programs as well as sponsor cadets for U.S. and overseas travel.

Your support of the Corps of Cadets, as well as the Student Calling Center, is critical to continued growth of the Corps mission. When you receive a call from a cadet, please feel free to ask questions about their campus experiences and share your own experiences.

Thank you for your continued support of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

Major Gifts ($25,000 and above)

  • Col. (Ret.) Bob Archer ’64 made an additional gift to the VTCC Archer Family Endowment. A member of I Company in the Corps, Archer has been a proud and loyal supporter of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.
  • Richard T. Crowder ’60 made a gift
to establish the Ambassador Richard T. Crowder Endowed Scholarship. Crowder, a proud member of E Company, established this scholarship to support a cadet from Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
  • Evelyn A. Gordon ’42 made an additional gift to her late husband’s scholarship, the VTCCA Charles O. Gordon ’42 Endowment. Charles Gordon was a loyal alumnus who participated in many activities during college and was the William H. Ruffner Award winner in 1985.
  • Kate and James Parkey ’51 made an additional gift to their VTCC Kate B. and James K. Parkey ’51 Scholarship. Although James Parkey was not in the Corps, the Parkeys truly believe the mission of the Corps of nurturing and creating the finest leaders.
  • Meredyth and Gen. Thomas Richards ’56 made a gift to establish the VTCC Meredyth E. & Thomas C. Richards ’56 Endowed Scholarship. A member
of H Company, Thomas Richards was a member of the football and track teams and was inducted into the Virginia Tech Aviation Wall of Fame in 2006.
  • Charlene and Dorsey Smith ’58 made a gift to establish the VTCC Charlene & Dorsey B. Smith ‘58 Scholarship. Dorsey Smith is a proud member of I Company.
  • Fay H. Street ’77 made a gift to the Commandant’s Priorities Fund. Nick and Fay Street have been active supporters of the Corps of Cadets for many years.
  • Elizabeth and Daniel Talbert ’64 made a gift to establish the VTCC Daniel M. (’64, M Co.) & Elizabeth G. Talbert Leader Scholarship. A proud member of M. Company, the Talberts established this scholarship to ensure the continued development of some of the finest leaders the Corps has to offer.
  • Edward M. Ringley ’58 established an estate gift that will ultimately fund the Edward M. Ringley Jr. ’58 Scholarship. He is a proud alumnus of Virginia Tech who received his bachelor’s degree in business administration. While a student, he was a member of C Squadron in the Corps and a member of the German Club. He is creating this endowment
to provide expanded opportunities for members of the Corps of Cadets in perpetuity. 

Cadets participate in morning formation on Upper Quad.

Morning Formation
Cadets participate in morning formation on Upper Quad.

Your Gift Can Pay You Back
by Judith Davis, Office of Gift Planning

You can make a gift that supports the Corps and provides lifetime payments to you. Often called life income gifts, these gift plans include the charitable gift annuity and the charitable remainder trust.

Your life income gift is created when you irrevocably transfer cash, securities, real estate, or another asset to the Virginia Tech Foundation Inc. in exchange for an income stream paid to you, to you and/or your surviving spouse, or to someone you name.

When the plan ends, typically after your lifetime, the remaining balance becomes your gift to the Corps. It’s a great way to support the Corps and, at the same time, provide a stream of income for retirement, to assist an aging parent, or for any purpose.

Reduce the cost of your life income gift — or any gift

If you have held an asset such as securities or real estate for more than
one year and that asset has gained value, donating that appreciated asset in lieu of cash may allow you not only to deduct the asset’s fair market value, regardless of purchase price, but also to avoid capital gains tax otherwise due, effectively reducing the cost of your gift.

Explore life income gifts online at http://bit.ly/vtpgcalc to calculate how a life income gift could work for you.

Learn more about the many ways you can support the Corps. Contact Scott Lyman, associate director of development for the Corps of Cadets, at 800-533- 1144 or rlyman@vt.edu

Scott Lyman
Scott Lyman