Virginia Tech

"VA Tech" redirects here. For other uses, see VA Tech (disambiguation).

Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University
Virginia Tech Seal
Former names

Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (1892–1896)
Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (1896–1944)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute (1944–1970)
Motto Ut Prosim (Latin)
Motto in English
That I May Serve
Established 1872
Type Public
Senior Military College
Endowment US$796.4 Million[1]
President Timothy D. Sands[2]
Provost Mark G. McNamee
Academic staff
Students 29,684[3]
Undergraduates 22,824[3]
Postgraduates 6,416[3]

Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.
37°13.5′N 80°25.5′W / 37.2250°N 80.4250°W / 37.2250; -80.4250Coordinates: 37°13.5′N 80°25.5′W / 37.2250°N 80.4250°W / 37.2250; -80.4250{{#coordinates:37|13.5|N|80|25.5|W|type:edu|| |primary |name=

Campus Town
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Colors Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange          [4]
Athletics NCAA Division IACC
Sports 21 varsity teams
Nickname Template:If empty
Mascot HokieBird
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech, is a public land-grant university with a main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, educational facilities in six regions statewide, and a study-abroad site in Switzerland. The commonwealth's third-largest university and a leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to some 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $454 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.[5]

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors serves as the university's governing body. The board comprises 13 members who are appointed by the governor of Virginia. Serving as ex-officio, non-voting representatives are the president of the state Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services; the presidents of the university's faculty senate and staff senate; and an undergraduate student and a graduate student selected through a competitive review process.[6]


File:VT Burruss Hall.jpg
Virginia Tech's Burruss Hall
Virginia Tech presidents [7]
Charles Landon Carter Minor 1872-1879
Scott Shipp 1880
John Lee Buchanan 1880 – 1881
Thomas Nelson Conrad 1882–1886
Lunsford Lindsay Lomax 1886–1891
John McLaren McBryde 1891–1907
Paul Brandon Barringer 1907–1913
Joseph Dupuy Eggleston 1913–1919
Julian Ashby Burruss 1919–1945
John Redd Hutcheson 1945–1947
Walter Stephenson Newman 1947–1962
Thomas Marshall Hahn, Jr. 1962–1974
William Edward Lavery 1975–1987
James Douglas McComas 1988–1994
Paul Ernest Torgersen 1993–2000
Charles W. Steger 2000–2014
Timothy D. Sands[2] 2014–present

In 1872, with federal funds provided by the Morrill Act of 1862, the Virginia General Assembly purchased the facilities of Preston and Olin Institute, a small Methodist school in Southwest Virginia's rural Montgomery County. That same year, 40 acres of the Solitude Farm were acquired for $21,250.[8] The commonwealth incorporated a new institution on the site, a state-supported land-grant military institute named Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College.[9]

Under the 1891–1907 presidency of John M. McBryde, the school organized its academic programs into a traditional four-year college. The evolution of the school's programs led to a name change in 1896 to Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute. The "Agricultural and Mechanical College" portion of the name was popularly omitted almost immediately; in 1944, the name was officially changed to Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI).[10]

In 1923, VPI changed a policy of compulsory participation in the Corps of Cadets from four years to two years. In 1931, VPI began teaching classes at the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary (now Old Dominion University).[11] This program eventually developed into a two-year engineering program that allowed students to transfer to VPI for their final two years of degree work.

In 1943, VPI merged with Radford State Teachers College, which became VPI's women's division; the merger was dissolved in 1964. Today, Radford University enrolls more than 9,900 students and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate programs.[12]

VPI President T. Marshall Hahn, whose tenure ran from 1962 to 1974,[13] was responsible for many of the programs and policies that transformed the school into a major research university. The student body was increased by roughly 1,000 students each year, new dormitories and academic buildings were constructed, faculty members were added – in 1966, for instance, more than 100 new professors joined the faculty – and research budgets were increased.[14] During Hahn's tenure, not only did the university graduate its first Rhodes Scholar, W.W. Lewis, Class of 1963,[15] the requirement for male students to participate in the Corps of Cadets for two years was dropped, and membership in the corps was opened to women in fall 1973, making Virginia Tech among the nation's first schools to do so.[16]

In 1970, the state legislature sanctioned university status for VPI and bestowed upon it the present legal name, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In the early 1990s, university administration authorized the official use of "Virginia Tech" as equivalent to the full legal name; it has been used as the first-reference name for the school's athletic teams since the 1970s. However, diplomas and transcripts still spell out the formal name. Similarly, the abbreviation "VT" is far more common today than either VPI or VPI&SU.


On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho fatally shot 32 faculty members and students, wounding 17 others before killing himself on campus; the massacre is the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history.[17]


Virginia Tech offers 116 bachelor's degree programs through its seven undergraduate academic colleges, 160 master's and doctoral degree programs through the Graduate School, and a professional degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute, a private, independent school jointly managed by the university and Carilion Clinic – formerly named Carilion Health System – opened in fall 2010.

The undergraduate academic colleges and schools are as follows:


Virginia Tech received a record of nearly 22,500 applications for the fall 2015 freshman class, an increase of 7.6% from the previous year's 20,897 applications. The typical student offered admission had a high-school grade point average of 4.00, with the middle 50 percent ranging from 3.78 and 4.23. The average cumulative SAT score was 1250 (out of 1600), with a middle range ranging from 1160 to 1340. Of the 5,518 students who accepted the offers of admission, 20 percent accepted under the Early Decision Plan.[18] The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is located in the Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center.

Virginia Tech offers an undergraduate program known as University Honors, which provides accepted honors students 11 different ways to earn Honors credits towards one of the five Honors degree options. Once admitted, Honors students are required to maintain a 3.5 GPA in order to remain in the program. Roughly one-fourth of the approximately 1,600 University Honors students live in one of the two University Honors residential halls, the Honors Residential College located in East Ambler-Johnston and the Hillcrest Honors Community.[19]

For the 2013–14 academic year, the Graduate School at Virginia Tech enrolled 6,723 graduate students (4,465 full-time; 2,258 part-time) in its masters and doctoral programs.[20]

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Va., received 2,873 applications for its fourth incoming class, the class of 2017, and offered admission to 42. The class's MCAT scores range was 29-40 (median 33, mean 33), and mean undergraduate GPA was 3.5.[21]


University rankings
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In the U.S. News & World Report‍ '​s 2015 Best Colleges, Virginia Tech ranked 71st among national universities and 27th among public.[30] Virginia Tech is among three public universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia to rank among the top 25, with the University of Virginia tying at No. 2 with the University of California, Los Angeles; and the College of William & Mary at No. 6. Other than California, Virginia is the only state with three or more schools in the Top 25 Public Universities.[31]

The College of Engineering undergraduate program was ranked 15th in the nation among all accredited engineering schools that offer doctorates, and sixth among engineering schools at U.S. public universities, tying with Texas A&M University. Several Virginia Tech undergraduate engineering specialties ranked among the top 20 of their respective peer programs: aerospace and ocean engineering, 14th; civil engineering, 10th; electrical and computer engineering, 15th; engineering science and mechanics, eighth; environmental engineering, 11th; industrial and systems engineering, eighth; mechanical engineering, 14th; biological systems engineering, 11th; and chemical engineering, 20th.[32]

U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools 2015 ranked the College of Engineering 21st among the nation's best engineering schools for graduate studies. The ranking is a move up three places from 24th, where the college stood for three consecutive years. Ranked among public universities, the College of Engineering's graduate program – which has more than 2,000 students – ranks 10th in the nation. It is the highest-ranked engineering school in Virginia.[33]

The Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences graduate and undergraduate program are considered among the best in the U.S. U.S. News & World Report (2014) ranked biological systems engineering 11th in the nation. In 2009, the National Science Foundation ranked Virginia Tech No. 5 in the country for agricultural research expenditures, much of which originated from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Pamplin College of Business undergraduate program was ranked 43rd (2014) among the nation's undergraduate business programs and 26th among public institutions. Pamplin's overall ranking places it in the top 10 percent of the approximately 445 U.S. undergraduate programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.[34]

The architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and public administration programs in Virginia Tech's College of Architecture and Urban Studies are ranked among the very best in America. In its 2013 "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools" report, DesignIntelligence (the only national college ranking survey focused exclusively on design) ranked the undergraduate architecture program 7th nationally among both public and private universities. The graduate architecture program ranked 18th in the nation. DesignIntelligence ranked the university's undergraduate and graduate landscape architecture programs No. 2 in the nation. In addition, DesignIntelligence ranked the university's undergraduate interior design program 6th and undergraduate industrial design program 3rd. The Planetizen 2012 Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs ranks Virginia Tech's MURP program as 19th. It is the best ranked program in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Appalachian region. This latest edition features new listings of the top master's degree programs in urban planning, as well as updated profiles for 100 planning programs in the U.S. and Canada. Virginia Tech's MURP program performed well overall and was also rated among the best programs in Technology, Land Use Planning, Environmental Planning, and Growth Management.[35] Furthermore, according to U.S. News & World Report, Virginia Tech's Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) ranks in the top 10 percent for public affairs graduate education and 17th overall for public management and administration.[36] Virginia Tech's master's in public administration (MPA) program has consistently ranked as one of the nation's top programs and is currently ranked higher than any other public affairs program in Virginia. Eduniversal ranked the program in Government and International Affairs' (GIA) MPIA degree 27th in North America for international management.[37]

File:Cowgill Hall Virginia Tech.JPG
Cowgill Hall, home to the College of Architecture and Urban Studies

Programs in the College of Natural Resources consistently rank among the top of their type in the nation. The college's wildlife program is ranked first by its peers, and the fisheries program is ranked second. In a recently published study of the research impact of North American forestry programs, the Journal of Forestry ranked Virginia Tech's programs second on the perceptions-based composite score and third on the citations- and publications-based index. The wood science and forest products program is listed as an accredited program by the Society of Wood Science and Technology or SWST,[38] and is recognized as one of the top programs in its category in North America. Virginia Tech is classified as a "RU/VH" (research university with very high research activity) under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

In the School of Education, graduate Career and Technical Education program was ranked 4th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report 2010 and graduate Instructional Design and Technology program is ranked one of the top nine graduate programs by its peers.[39]

In 2012, U.S. News ranked Virginia Tech among those universities with the highest operating efficiency.[40]

Virginia Tech was also recognized as having one of the top 14 cooperative education and internship programs in the nation.

Virginia Tech is among the colleges that offer a first-class educational experience at a bargain price, according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.

Virginia Tech's endowment is managed by the Virginia Tech Foundation, and as of 2015 topped $796.4 million.


Virginia Tech generated $454 million for research programs in fiscal year 2012, ranking 40th in the nation, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). As a result, Virginia Tech marked its 13th consecutive year of research growth under President Charles W. Steger, with the university's research portfolio more than doubling from $192.7 million in fiscal year 2000. The only Virginia institution in the top 50 of the NSF's rankings for research expenditures, Virginia Tech is No. 23 among public universities. The university's research expenditures rank it in the top 5 percent of more than 900 research universities and colleges. Each year, the university receives thousands of awards to conduct research from an ever-expanding base of sponsors. Researchers pursue new discoveries in agriculture, biotechnology, information and communication technology, human health, transportation, energy management (including leadership in fuel-cell technology and power electronics), security, sustainability, and a wide range of other engineering, scientific, social science, and creative fields. This research led to 36 patents and 17 license and option agreements in fiscal year 2013.[41]

Research Expenditures Fiscal Years 2009–2012 [42]
2009 US$396.7 Million
2010 US$398 Million
2011 US$450 Million
2012 US$454 Million
2013 US$496 Million

The Research Institutes of Virginia Tech

  • Fralin Life Science Institute
  • Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT)
  • Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS)
  • Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE)
  • Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech
  • Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI)
  • Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI)

Fralin Life Science Institute

The Fralin Life Science Institute is an expansion of the Fralin Biotechnology Center, which was established in 1991. Its mission is to increase the quality, quantity, and competitiveness of life science research, education, and outreach at Virginia Tech by coalescing resources around existing and emerging strengths within the life science community, promoting interdisciplinary research and education in the sciences. Research at the institute is focused on the areas of vector-borne disease; infectious disease and microbial sciences; plant sciences; obesity; cancer biology; and ecology and organismal biology.[43]

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI)

File:Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.JPG
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute

The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) is a premier bioinformatics, computational biology, and systems biology research facility that opened in 2000 on Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg. VBI houses more than 200 employees, multiple supercomputing clusters, and several DNA sequencers, including a massively parallel high-throughput Roche GS-FLX sequencer.[44]

With more than $109 million in active research awards, the research platform of VBI focuses on the "disease triangle" of host-pathogen-environment interactions. By using bioinformatics, which combines transdisciplinary approaches to information technology and biology, researchers at VBI interpret and apply vast amounts of biological data generated from basic research to some of today's key challenges in the biomedical, environmental and agricultural sciences.

Work at VBI involves collaboration in diverse disciplines such as mathematics, epidemiology, computer science, biology, plant pathology, biochemistry, systems biology, statistics, economics and synthetic biology. The institute develops genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic tools that can be applied to the study of infectious diseases as well as the discovery of new vaccine, drug and diagnostic targets.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI)

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), which was founded as the Center for Transportation Research in 1988, employs more than 350 personnel and has more than $40 million in annual sponsored program research expenditures (2013 figures). VTTI annually supports an average of more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students at Virginia Tech and produces more than 140 publications per year.[45]

VTTI's mission is to conduct transportation research to save lives, time, and money and to protect the environment. VTTI develops and tests advanced transportation safety devices, techniques, and innovative applications. VTTI's research impacts public policy in transportation, notably through research into distracted driving[46] and commercial hour-of-service.[47]

VTTI conducts applied research to address transportation challenges from various perspectives: vehicle, driver, infrastructure, materials, and environment.[44] Most notable among VTTI endeavors are its naturalistic driving studies. These studies particularly utilize VTTI's data acquisition systems, which gather continuous video and driving performance data in real-world driving conditions. These systems have been installed in nearly 4,000 passenger vehicles, commercial trucks and motor coaches, and motorcycles.[48]

VTTI research facilities include the 2.2-mile, two-lane, fully instrumented "Smart Road", a research computational facility with more than a petabyte of high-performance storage infrastructure and more than 51,000 square feet of office and specialized laboratory spaces. These laboratories include an asphalt lab, fully equipped garages, instrumentation bays, and a machine shop for working on VTTI's vehicle fleet.

Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology

Established in 2010, the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology will reach beyond current models, fusing art and technology as a platform for future careers; and will both generate research and produce learning modules and environments that address real needs identified by educators. The institute collaborates with a Roanoke-based art gallery on an experimental technology based art installation.[49][50]

Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS)

Since 2005, the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) has made efforts to build capacity at the intersection of engineering, science, biology, and the humanities. Thrust areas include nanoscale science and engineering, nano-bio interface, sustainable energy, safe and sustainable water, national security, cognition and communication systems, renewable materials, and emerging technologies.[44]

ICTAS is also dedicated to promoting economic development in the Commonwealth of Virginia by investing in strategic technical leadership and state-of-the-art laboratory space, and provides financial support to accelerate growth in scholarship, research expenditures, and national recognition.

Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE)

The Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE) was created in 2007 to support interdisciplinary research and scholarship that addresses social and individual transformation. ISCE seeks to strengthen the university's competitive position in the social sciences, humanities, and the arts; applying Virginia Tech's technological know-how to social issues and cultural opportunities; and providing support for grant writing and aligning faculty expertise with funding sources. The global issues initiative is researching trade policies and poverty in Pakistan and the Philippines, and the implications of agricultural subsidies in eight countries, among other issues. A special-interest group is promoting community/public health research, including prioritizing regional health issues and intervention strategies.[51]

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

The Virginia Tech Carilion Medical Research Institute is an integral component of the new medical research and education initiative embodied by the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute (VTC). This partnership combines opportunities in biomedical education and basic, translational, and clinical research with a collaborative interdisciplinary perspective. Research is aimed at understanding the fundamental processes that give rise to healthy lives and the disorders that can compromise those processes, and at development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics. Research institute investigators also contribute to discovery by training tomorrow's physician-researchers.[51]

Virginia Tech Research Center-Arlington (VTRC-A)

The Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington opened at 900 N. Glebe Road in June 2011. The highly visible state-of-the-art facility aims to further the university's mission to expand its research portfolio in the National Capital Region. The region offers great opportunity for partnerships with corporate research entities and close proximity to government agencies and other public and private-sector organizations. The building is located in the Ballston area of Arlington, a short distance from many leading science and research agencies of the federal government and many high-technology companies.[52]

The seven-floor, 144,000-square-foot Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington is U.S. Green Council LEED-certified. The exterior of the building, designed by Cooper Carry, features first floor amenities which include retail, exhibits, an outdoor terrace restaurant, and abundant green space. The interior, designed by Gensler, includes computational laboratories, offices, and a conference center to accommodate meetings, forums, symposia, and other events. The second floor conference center is available to the science and technology communities throughout the region for meetings and events not specifically related to the university, and two of the seven floors in the building not occupied by Virginia Tech are available for commercial lease.

The building is among the best connected research facilities in the world, incorporating next-generation Internet with direct fiber access to National LambdaRail, Internet 2, and multiple federal networks. High-performance connectivity links this research center to Virginia Tech's main campus in Blacksburg, as well as to other major universities. The network provides access to international peering points in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Florida, and the building includes a secure data center for high performance computing (HPC)-based research.

A number of established Virginia Tech research centers and institutes are located in this facility [53]

Other areas of research

Other research conducted throughout the university's colleges and interdisciplinary groups includes high-performance computing; advanced materials; wireless telecommunication; housing; human and animal health; cognition, development, and behavior; the environment; and energy, including power electronics, biofuels, fuel cells, and solar-powered building structures.[54]

The Virginia Tech–Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences partners the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Virginia Tech's research includes biomechanics, cellular transport, computational modeling, biomaterials, bioheat and mass transfer, biofluid mechanics, instrumentation, ergonomics, and tissue engineering.

Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc. (VTIP) was established in 1985 as a nonprofit corporation to support the mission of the university by protecting and licensing intellectual properties that result from research performed by Virginia Tech faculty, staff members, and students. During fiscal year 2012, 17 U.S. patents and six foreign patents were issued to VTIP, and 32 license and option agreements were signed. In addition, VTIP reported $2,269,991 in license revenue. [55]


File:War Memorial Pylon Virginia Tech.JPG
One of the War Memorial Chapel pylons "Sacrifice" on a snowy day.
Torgersen Hall bridge over Alumni Mall. Torgersen is an example of architecture using Hokie Stone.
File:Burruss Hall, Virginia Tech.JPG
Burruss Hall in the wintertime.
Main article: Virginia Tech campus

The Virginia Tech campus is located in Blacksburg, Virginia. The central campus is roughly bordered by Prices Fork Road to the northwest, Plantation Drive to the west, Main Street to the east, and US 460 Bypass to the south, though it has several thousand acres beyond the central campus.

In the center of the Blacksburg campus lies the Drillfield, a large oval field running northeast to southwest, encircled by a one-way street known as Drillfield Drive. The Drillfield's name, coined in 1926 after the completion of Virginia Tech's first real stadium, stems from its use by the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets to conduct military drills. A waterway, Stroubles Creek, runs beneath the Drillfield on the south side. A three-sided conduit for the creek that retains the natural bed of the creek was installed in 1934, and, in 1971, the first two asphalt walks were added. The urban legend that the Drillfield is sinking at the rate of an inch per year, however, has no basis in fact.[56][57] In the summer of 2014, three dirt paths were paved as part of the university's master plan to improve the landscaping and pathways, add seating areas, and enhance path entrances around the Drillfield.[58]

On the northwestern side of the Drillfield stands the majority of the university's academic and administrative buildings, including Burruss and McBryde halls. On the southeastern side of the Drillfield stands the majority of the residential buildings, including students' residence halls, dining halls, and War Memorial Gym. Newman Library is located on the eastern side of campus and connects to Torgersen Bridge, which spans the main road into campus, Alumni Mall. North of the Drillfield and northwest of Alumni Mall lies the Upper Quad, known to many students as military campus. The Upper Quad is home to the Corps of Cadets' barracks.

On the main campus in Blacksburg, the majority of the buildings incorporate Hokie Stone as a building material. In the 1990s, a Virginia Tech Board of Visitors committee expressed an intent that henceforth Hokie Stone should be used in all buildings constructed on the central campus. In 2010, the board of visitors passed a resolution making that sentiment official university policy.[59]

Hokie Stone is generally gray, shaded by hues of brown and pink. The limestone is mined from various quarries in Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama – one of which has been operated by the university since the 1950s. However, while it is true that the majority of buildings on campus incorporate Hokie Stone into their design, there are a few notable exceptions. For example, all buildings on the Upper Quad, including Lane Hall, are constructed of red brick. Also, a number of academic buildings were not constructed using Hokie Stone, as they were built before the institution of the rule mandating its use in all new university buildings.

<div class="thumb tnone" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right:auto; width:99%; max-width:Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".px;">

Panoramic view of Virginia Tech's Drillfield

Extended campuses

The university has established five branch campuses:[60]

Northern Virginia Center (National Capital Region)

Virginia Tech's presence in the National Capital Region links regional graduate education and outreach programs that are consistent with the university's strategic research areas of excellence: energy materials and environment, social and individual transformation, health, food, and nutrition, and innovative technologies and complex systems.[66]

Supporting the university's missions in the National Capital Region, Virginia Tech has established collaborations and partnerships with local and federal agencies, nonprofit research organizations, businesses, and other institutions of higher education.

Current locations include Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg.[66]

Biomedical Technology Development and Management is an executive program in the National Capital Region. The Master of Science in Biomedical Technology Development and Management (BTDM) is a graduate level degree created by Virginia Tech in response to future directions in medical product discovery and development and the emerging needs of industry and regulatory agencies. Curriculum for the degree program integrates science with technology, management, ethics, and public policy, and draws on the strengths of Virginia Tech in science, industrial and systems engineering, business and management, and medical research programs. [2]

In 2014, the university opened a Language and Culture Institute location in Fairfax. The institute offers intensive English language programs for college-age students, professionals, and diplomats.[67]

International campuses

The Caribbean Center for Education and Research (CCER)

Located on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean Center for Education and Research (CCER) in Punta Cana provides a base for Virginia Tech faculty to conduct research as well as instruct students on biodiversity, environmental and social sustainability, global issues in natural resources, and hotel and tourism management. The center is the product of a partnership between Virginia Tech and the PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation (PCEF) and the PUNTACANA Resort and Club. PCEF maintains a 2,000-acre natural forest reserve, 14 kilometers of protected coral reef, freshwater lagoons and coastal mangroves.[68]

Center for European Studies and Architecture (CESA)

Renamed the Steger Center for International Scholarship in 2014,[69] the Center for European Studies and Architecture (CESA) is the university's European campus center and base for operations and support of its programs in the region. The center's location in Riva San Vitale, Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland, is also close to major northern Italian cities such as Milan.[68]

Agricultural Research and Extension Centers

Virginia Tech has several agricultural research and extension centers located throughout the Commonwealth dedicated to improving agricultural practices and the quality of life of Virginia citizens. The Virginia Tech Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are: Alson H. Smith, Jr., Eastern Shore, Eastern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Middleburg, Reynolds Homestead, Shenandoah Valley, Southern Piedmont, Southwest Virginia, Tidewater, and Virginia Seafood.

Power Plant

Distinguished by a towering 180-foot-high radial brick smokestack, the university's Central Steam Power Plant generates an annual steam output greater than 943 billion BTUs and provides campus buildings with a portion of their heat, hot water, and electricity needs. Nearly 90 percent of campus buildings are connected to the plant through an extensive network of underground tunnels—the main access point is on the Drillfield—and more than six miles of steam lines and piping provide heat to more than 6.8 million square feet of campus buildings. Only personnel with confined-spaces training are permitted to enter the tunnel system, comprising 2.76 miles of inaccessible tunnel and 11.07 miles of piping; 3.78 miles of direct-bury piping in the ground; and 2.2 miles of accessible tunnel and 12.27 miles of piping.[70]

Student life

Residential life

File:Virginia Tech Main Eggleston Hall.jpg
Autumn is when the leaves turn orange and maroon, Virginia Tech's colors.

More than 9,000 Virginia Tech students reside on campus. A majority of the residential halls are located on the southwestern side of the Drillfield. Currently, there are twenty-nine residential halls housing undergraduate and graduate students.

The university has on-campus housing for graduate and professional students who are single; the housing may not accommodate families and spouses.[71]

Campus residence halls
  • East Ambler Johnston
  • West Ambler Johnston
  • Barringer
  • Brodie
  • East Campbell
  • Main Campbell
  • Cochrane
  • Main Eggleston
  • West Eggleston
  • Harper
  • Hillcrest
  • Johnson
  • Lee
  • Miles
  • Montheith
  • Newman
  • New Hall West
  • New Residence Hall East
  • O'Shaughnessy
  • Payne
  • Peddrew-Yates
  • Pritchard
  • Slusher Tower
  • Slusher Wing
  • Thomas
  • Vawter
  • Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
  • Oak Lane Community

Corps of Cadets

File:Virginia Tech Corps marching.jpg
Virginia Tech Corps marching

Until 1932, every able-bodied male was required to participate for four years in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. The requirement was changed to two years until 1964, when participation became voluntary. Virginia Tech remains one of three public universities in the country (Texas A&M and North Georgia College and State University are the others) with both an active corps of cadets and "civilian" lifestyle on its campus.

More than 1,000 cadets reside within the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Community, also known as the cadet barracks within the corps. The corps community is located in the historical Upper Quad, which features some of the oldest buildings on campus, with original structures dating back as far as the late 19th century.


Main article: Virginia Tech Hokies
File:VT logo.svg
Stylized "VT" logo

Virginia Tech teams are known as the Hokies, except for the swim team which uses a variant (H2Okies). They compete as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sub-level for football), primarily competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports since the 2004–05 season. The Hokies previously competed in the Big East Conference from 2000–01 to 2003–04 (which its football program began competing as an associate member from 1991–92 to 1999–2000); the Atlantic 10 Conference (A-10) from 1995–96 to 1999–2000; and the Metro Conference from 1978–79 to 1994–95. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

The HokieBird is a turkey-like creature whose form has evolved from the original school mascot of the Fighting Gobbler. While the modern HokieBird still resembles a Fighting Gobbler, the word "Hokie" has all but replaced Fighting Gobbler in terms of colloquial use. The term originated from the Old Hokie spirit yell, in which there was no particular meaning indicated for the word.

The stylized VT (the abbreviation for Virginia Tech) is used primarily by the athletic department as a symbol for Virginia Tech athletic teams. The "athletic VT" symbol is trademarked by the university and appears frequently on licensed merchandise.

During the early years of VPI, a rivalry developed between it and Virginia Military Institute. This rivalry developed into the original "Military Classic of the South," an annual football game between VMI and VPI usually held on Thanksgiving Day in Roanoke, Virginia. That series ended after the 1984 season; VMI had elected to play at the Division I-AA level, now Division I FCS, after the NCAA's 1978 divisional split for football, and the schools' wide disparity in size had led to a similar imbalance in results. Another long-standing and important rivalry is between Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia. The Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry strengthened in concurrence with both UVA's and Tech's growth during the 1960s and 1970s and this is now the Hokies' primary program-wide athletic rivalry. The two schools compete in football for the Governor's "Commonwealth Cup" each season.

Virginia Tech's fight song, Tech Triumph, was written in 1919 and remains in use today. Tech Triumph is played at sporting events by both the Virginia Tech band, The Marching Virginians, and the Corps of Cadets' band, the Highty Tighties. The Old Hokie spirit yell, written in 1896 and used to this day, is familiar to many Virginia Tech fans. This chant is also where the word Hoki (since modified to "Hokie") originally appeared.

Virginia Tech baseball

Chuck Hartman, who retired as the Virginia Tech baseball coach in 2006, finished his career as the fourth winningest coach in Division I baseball history with a 1,444–816–8 record, including a 961–591–18 mark in his 28 seasons at Tech, the best record of any baseball coach in history at Tech.

Virginia Tech basketball (men's)

File:Cassell Coliseum wide shot.jpg
Virginia Tech's Cassell Coliseum

In March 2014, Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced the hiring of Buzz Williams as the Hokies' new head men's basketball coach. Williams spent the previous six seasons as the head coach at Marquette University, where he compiled a 139-69 record and led the Golden Eagles to five NCAA appearances, including a trip to the regional finals in the 2012-13 season, the same season that the team won the Big East Conference's regular season title. During Williams's tenure, Marquette tallied a 69-39 record in the Big East Conference, and six Marquette players made it to the NBA.[72]

In July 2014, Williams announced his staff. Isaac Chew, Steve Roccaforte, and Jamie McNeilly were named assistant coaches. Jeff Reynolds was named the director of men's basketball operations. Devin Johnson will serve as the director of player personnel for men's basketball, and Steve Thomas as the director of student-athlete development. Lyle Wolf joined the staff as the assistant to the head coach, and Ernest Eugene was hired as assistant athletics director for sports medicine and will serve as the team athletic trainer.[73]

Virginia Tech's men's basketball team had seen a resurgence of fan support since the arrival of coach Seth Greenberg in 2003–04 and the university's entry into the ACC in 2004–05. Prior to Coach Greenberg's arrival in Blacksburg, the men's basketball team had not had a winning season since the 1995–96 season, when they received a bid to the NCAA tournament. In addition, the team did not make the Big East tournament in its first three seasons in the conference.

in 2003–04, Greenberg's squad made the Big East tournament. A year later, in their first season in the ACC, the Hokies scored their first postseason berth in nine years when they made the NIT in 2004–05. In the 2006–07 season, Greenberg's Hokies finished with a 10–6 record in the ACC and a 22–12 record overall, earning their first NCAA tournament berth in 11 years, reaching the NCAA second round before losing to Southern Illinois.

Virginia Tech basketball (women's)

Virginia Tech's women's basketball team, led by coach Dennis Wolff, is in a rebuilding phase as it competes in the ACC. Under former coach Beth Dunkenberger it was a fixture in postseason play, having received a berth to the NCAA tournament each season from 2003 to 2006. Virginia Tech's women have been in postseason play every year since the 1997–98 season, Bonnie Henrickson's first season as the head coach of the Hokies, earning seven NCAA berths and three NIT appearances during that stretch.

Both basketball teams play their home games in Cassell Coliseum.

Virginia Tech football

Lane Stadium from the north in June 2008.

Virginia Tech's football team plays home games in Lane Stadium. Having a capacity of 66,233, Lane is relatively small in comparison to many other top FBS stadiums, yet it is still considered to be one of the loudest stadiums in the country. In 2005, it was recognized by as having the best home-field advantage in college football.[74]

Head coach Frank Beamer has held that position at Virginia Tech since 1987, and is the winningest currently active head coach in FBS football with 266 wins (224 with the Hokies) following the 2013 season. Beamer's teams are known for solid special teams play (called "Beamer Ball") and for tough defenses headed by defensive coordinator Bud Foster. The Hokies currently have the second-longest bowl streak in the country, having participated in bowl games in each of the last 21 seasons.[75] Since the 1995 season, the Hokies have finished with a top-10 ranking five times, won seven conference championships (three Big East and four ACC), and played once for the national championship, losing to Florida State 46–29 in the 2000 Sugar Bowl. Annually, Virginia Tech plays its traditional rival, the University of Virginia, for the Commonwealth Cup, a game which Virginia Tech has won 14 times in the 15 seasons since 1999.

Virginia Tech soccer (men's)

Virginia Tech's men's soccer team has improved greatly since the arrival of Oliver Weiss, who has coached the team since 2000. Under Weiss, Tech has made four NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the College Cup in 2007. The Hokie's trip to the College Cup is the equivalent of men's basketball Final Four and was the soccer team's most successful season. The Hokies finished the 2007 regular season ranked third nationally.[76]

Virginia Tech soccer (women's)

Women's soccer at Virginia Tech began in 1980 with two club teams under the guidance of Everett Germain and his two daughters, Betsy and Julie. Kelly Cagle was head coach from 2002 to 2010, leaving with a record of 76–70–15 and three consecutive NCAA trips. She was succeeded by Charles "Chugger" Adair.[77] Under Adair the Hokie Women's Soccer quad has spent numerous weeks ranked in the top 25 during their 2012 campaign. During the 2013 season Virginia Tech ranked in the top 5 making it to the Final Four for the first time in school history.[78] The women's team has now been to 6 straight NCAA tournaments 2008-2013 having 2 Sweet Sixteen finishes and one Final Four finish.

Virginia Tech softball

Virginia Tech Softball upset the USA national team in a 1–0 no hitter in 2008[79] and advanced to the Women's College World Series for the first time ever.[80] The program is coached by Blacskburg local, Scot Thomas. Thomas helped start the program in 1996 and celebrated his 600th win during the 2012 season. Since joining the ACC, the Virginia Tech Softball team has won two Conference Titles in 2007 and 2008.

Fight song

Tech Triumph is the fight song of Virginia Tech. It was composed in 1919 by Wilfred Pete Maddux (class of 1920) and Mattie Eppes (Boggs). Wilfred Preston ("Pete") Maddux, a trombone and baritone player in the Virginia Tech Regimental Band (member of the band from the Fall of 1917 to 1919), jointly composed Tech Triumph (1985 recording – link updated 2008) in 1919 along with Mattie Walton Eppes (Boggs). Mattie Eppes was a neighbor of Pete in his hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia. When he was home, Pete would often play violin with Mattie accompanying him on the piano. One evening in the summer of 1919, Pete asked her to help him compose a fight song for VPI. She played the tune and Pete wrote out the score and the words for two verses in a single evening. Pete Maddox is not listed in the yearbook with the band after 1919. Ms. Eppes later married John C. Boggs, Superintendent of Randolph-Macon Military Academy.

The song was first performed on Saturday, November 1, 1919, at the Fair Grounds in Lynchburg, Virginia before the football game between V.P.I. and Washington and Lee University. According to the report in the November 5, 1919, issue of The Virginia Tech, there were problems with obtaining uniforms for the entire Corps, so only the junior and senior classes, along with the band, were able to attend the game. The cadets arrived by train in Lynchburg at 11:30 am and headed to the Carroll Hotel, which was V.P.I. headquarters. At 1 pm, the cadets paraded through the streets of Lynchburg, then headed to the car barn to board street cars for the trip to the Fair Grounds.

"On arriving at the grounds, the battalion was formed for the review on the football field. After passing in review before the grandstand, the four companies formed a hollow square with the band in the center, and the band played our new song, 'Tech Triumph.'"

The following school year, as noted in the June 2, 1920, edition of The Virginia Tech, "After a great deal of trouble, to say nothing of the expense incurred, the Monogram Club has succeeded in placing the "Tech Triumph" upon a Columbia record, and we are told that the greatest college song on "record" will be out during Finals."

The popularity of the song continued, as reported in the November 3, 1920, edition of The Virginia Tech. "The song has been a great success, not only as a school song, but also as a popular selection, and is featured as such by many dance orchestras. J. N. Walker, who has been handling the sale of the records and piano copies for the Monogram Club, has received another supply of both the records and the sheet music, which are now on sale at 256 G Division. The price remains the same as formerly, $1.25 for the record and 35 cents for the piano copies. Anyone who has failed to obtain either the record or the sheet music is urged to do so at once, as the supply is not expected to last long."


File:Earle D Gregory.jpg
Earle D. Gregory, Medal of Honor recipient

Since opening in 1872 as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, Virginia Tech has produced many alumni whose contributions have bolstered the university's reputation as a first-class institution globally.[81]

See also

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External links