Summer 2017 Corps Review    |    Back

Rising seniors listen as alumni board member Jim Flynn ‘64, at right, tells a story about his years as a cadet during the Class Champion Junior Dinner. The dinner allows the rising seniors to hear about the Corps’ history and the role of alumni.

Rising seniors listen as alumni board member Jim Flynn ‘64, at right, tells a story.
Rising seniors listen as alumni board member Jim Flynn ‘64, at right, tells a story about his years as a cadet during the Class Champion Junior Dinner. The dinner allows the rising seniors to hear about the Corps’ history and the role of alumni.

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

We concluded our spring board meeting on April 28. Our meeting was well attended and informative. 

Commandant of Cadets Maj. Gen. Randal D. Fullhart gave us an update on the status of the Corps and the new Corps Leadership and Military Science Building. Our Corps is maintaining an average GPA of over a 3.0 and close to full strength. Our incoming class looks large and smart. 

Our future building made the top four of buildings going forward for approval before the Virginia General Assembly. Of the four buildings, ours looks the simplest to approve because we have raised the private funding portion and the total amount requested is low compared with the rest of the requests. 

Our new chief advancement officer, Sandi Bliss, gave us some vision on where the university and also where she want to go. I feel we are in good hands with Sandi. Please join me in helping her learn more about the Corps and meet our alumni. She is eager and willing to help us grow. 

From left, Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Buzz Williams and J. Pearson.
Col. Patience Larkin '87 and J. Pearson '87, at left, hand Gokeys to cadets as they cross the stage at graduation practice.

We listened to Virginia Tech Vice President for Strategic Affairs and Vice Provost for Inclusion and Diversity Menah Pratt-Clarke and Vice President for Research and Innovation Theresa Mayer. Mayer is a class of ’88 grad and is leading the way in attracting companies to be a part of our research center. When Virginia Tech brings companies to campus, we get more opportunities for internships and jobs for our cadets. A true win-win! 

Our spring regimental commander, Cassandra Davis ’17, spoke to our board about how grateful she is for our help in allowing her to grow up and to eventually lead our Corps. Our Corps Museum Curator Samantha Riggin VT’16 explained to us what treasure of artifacts were donated by the family of Maj. Gen. Cecil R. Moore, class of 1919. We learned that one of our alumni engineered the port to supply the allies after D-Day.

Our task force chairs met to discuss their goals for the following year. Career Advancement is led by Scott Pearl ’84, Recruiting by David Williams ’79, University Affairs by Dennis Cochrane ’70, Governmental Affairs by Jim Hopper ’69, Development by Deb Tillotson ’78, Museum by Dan Mills ’64, and Highty-Tighties by Chuck Rowell ’71. Please feel free to contact any one of them. The task force chairs then reported to the whole board after their meetings. We want the entire board to know what each task force is doing. We would also appreciate your input. Remember you are alumni or friends of the Corps, and we all want it continually to get better.

We also had our cadet socials in April. We have dinner with the rising seniors followed by a social with the soon-to-be graduates. We remind them that they will join us as alumni. We explain the need for them to get involved and stay in contact with us. Their class champions are introduced to be the conduit to stay in touch, network, and communicate with our alumni staff. We lead the university in this type of outreach to our future alumni. Now many other colleges within the university are beginning to start their own communications. 

April 29 marked the Corps change of command ceremonies on the Drillfield. The weather was perfect, and the event was well attended. The reviewing party participants included Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, who spoke. He was accompanied by his wife, Laura Sands.  I hope each one of you get a chance to come back to campus and watch a change of command. The pride that you feel is off the charts, and you realize our nation is in good hands.

The practice commissioning ceremony was held on May 11. Alumni Director Col. Patience Larkin ‘87 and I handed out keychains with an alumni information tag to each cadet graduating from the Corps. The Gokies are designed by ex-football player and first-round draft pick Kevin Jones. 

We wish our future officers great success. This experience really humbled me since it was 30 years earlier that I was commissioned. Wow does time fly when you are having fun.

Please remember as alumni we must communicate, participate, and donate!

Go Hokies!

Board member David Williams ‘79, at far right, discusses goals with members of the Recruiting Task Force during the afternoon session of the spring alumni board meeting.

Board member David Williams ‘79, at far right, discusses goals with members of the Recruiting Task Force.
Board member David Williams ‘79, at far right, discusses goals with members of the Recruiting Task Force during the afternoon session of the spring alumni board meeting.