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From the Alumni Office

I will try to avoid all the cliches about what we have been going through lately and will instead focus on the positive! I, along with my colleagues on the Corps’ advancement team, have been learning a lot about hosting online events.

While we miss having alumni return to campus for reunions, panels, and football, we have been able to reach so many of you on Zoom that we just couldn’t in real life.

Corps Celebration Week, held Sept. 21-25, reached well over 250 alumni and friends, many of whom haven’t been back to campus in years. Participants were able to attend the Distinguished Alumni of the Corps award ceremony, hear about the history of the Corps, and see many of its artifacts. But the most mentioned and highest-rated aspect of the week was the opportunity to see and hear so many of today’s cadets: the Growley team, the historians, organization leaders, and of course, my personal favorites, the Cadet Alumni Team, who took everyone on the tour of Upper Quad and hosted trivia night. We look forward to having in-person events again, but I think virtual events will continue to be a part of our outreach from now on.

Uncertainty makes planning for spring semester challenging, to say the least, which is all the more reason why you should follow us on social media — we’re VTCAA on Facebook and @vtcorpsofcadets on Twitter and Instagram — plus let us know of any address changes (updates@vt.edu) and make sure your Class Champion has your email address of choice. These all are channels we will use to make announcements once plans are made.

Not sure who your Class Champion is? Drop me line at mmessner@vt.edu, and I’ll get you connected.

If you are looking for an excuse to return to the ’Burg on a more permanent basis, there’s another reason to stay in touch. We will be posting the job announcement for alumni director once the Virginia Tech hiring freeze is lifted.

In the meantime, I am honored to continue “holding down the fort” for all of you.

Ut Prosim,

Michele Messner,

Alumni Director Assistant, mmessner@vt.edu

Your Cadet Alumni Team Is Ready to Serve

The Cadet Alumni Team (CAT) formed in spring 2019 and has really found its stride in the past year.

Prior to its founding, the regimental alumni liaison would request help from the regimental supply and finance officer when preparing for large events that required more hands on deck. This meant that a new group of cadets would need to be trained each time, and we were never sure who we would get.

Eleanor (Franc) Sever ’19, the fall 2018 alumni liaison, recognized that a permanent team was needed that had been vetted and trained and was committed to serving Corps alumni.

A formal proposal was submitted to the commandant and approved. The first team members were tapped in spring 2019.

This semester, they are being led by an alumni liaison, Cadet Anthony Gaspar ’21, and his assistant, Ben Janosy ’22, who have both worked their way up through the ranks of the CAT. They have also gone through the process to obtain cords and organizational pins.

The next time you are at a reunion, football game, or other event and have a question or need help, look for a cadet wearing a maroon and metallic gold cord or a pin with the cupola of Lane Hall outlined in gold.

Gold is featured on both because that’s the level of service they deliver to alumni: the gold standard.

New Task Force Gets to Work

In December 2019, a new Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Alumni Inc. board task force formed. The Alumni Relations/Class Champion Task Force is chaired by Mike Miller ’93, who is also a Class Champion.

The group’s mission is to support the alumni office and the alumni network, and it highlights the value placed on strengthening connections with and among Corps alumni while still protecting your privacy.

Miller and his task force are here to serve you and can be reached at hokie@att.net.

Six class rings with their stones removed sit in a circle.
These class rings were included in the 2020 melt for the Hokie Gold program.

Participate in the Hokie Gold Legacy Program

The Hokie Gold Legacy Program was initiated by class members from the Corps of Cadets’ 1964 M Company, with support from the Alumni Association. Alumni or families of alumni can bequeath or donate their class rings, which are either melted down to create Hokie Gold to be included in the class rings of the next junior class, or retained for future display. 

To continue the program in perpetuity, a small amount of Hokie Gold will be reserved from each year’s melt to be included in the following year’s Hokie Gold melting for the next class. West Point and the Naval Academy have similar programs.

The inaugural Hokie Gold Legacy ring melt occurred May 2012 at the VT- FIRE foundry on the Virginia Tech campus. Representatives from the classes of 1964 and 2014 were present at the melt, and the resulting metal was given to the class ring company for refining and inclusion in the Class of 2014 rings.

Hokie Gold Legacy Program questions can be directed to Laura Wedin at 540-231-6285 or lwedin@vt.edu. You can learn about how to donate a ring, tax deductions, and shipping instructions at alumni.vt.edu/hokiegold.

Sam Bickford ’53 (left) takes a look at the original Skipper cannon in the lobby of Pearson Hall West during a tour of Upper Quad given by Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart, commandant of cadets (right).
Sam Bickford ’53 (left) takes a look at the original Skipper cannon in the lobby of Pearson Hall West during a tour of Upper Quad given by Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart, commandant of cadets. During the visit, Bickford made a generous donation to his endowed scholarship, the Samuel Bickford ’53 Scholarship, to increase the number of cadets who will benefit from it each year.