The Class of 2014: Student servant-leader looks forward to future after graduation
Daniel Evans of Colorado Springs, Colo., a senior majoring in computer science in the College of Engineering, won’t be far from Blacksburg once he graduates on Friday.
Soon after Friday evening's commissioning ceremony in Burruss Auditorium, Evans will report as a surface warfare officer to the USS Gravely, a destroyer based in Norfolk, Va.
Cadet Evans’ graduation marks the conclusion of leadership roles in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets as Golf Company commander and a resident advisor in West Eggleston Hall, where he coordinated leader development training, physical conditioning, academic achievement, team-building exercises, and a variety of community service projects for more than 75 cadets.
Evans is also the most recent recipient of the Aspire! Award for courageous leadership, an honor given by the Division of Student Affairs to students who have demonstrated the ability to make decisions that benefit others, often at their own expense.
The oldest of four brothers, Evans called himself the “guinea pig for growing up.” His family experience taught him the responsibility of looking out for others.
As a senior, he kept an eye out for one of his brothers, a first year student.
“We connected in ways that we didn’t in high school. I learned how to be a servant-leader. I was required to be a different leader at different times.”
Evans called his experience in West Eggleston challenging and refreshing. “I learned the importance of building relationships with others. I learned to take time to talk to people and get feedback on my leadership.”
As his time at Virginia Tech comes to a close, perhaps the best summary of Evans career comes from his Aspire! Award nomination, offered by Capt. James S. Snyder, U.S. Navy, retired deputy commander of Second Battalion, Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.
“The Corps of Cadets has a most demanding set of standards and focus with its honor code, the values of the Pylons, the cadet oath, and a vision to develop leaders of the highest integrity,” said Snyder.
“The leaders of any organization or institution can best understand if its values and tenets are embraced when the members of those entities uphold those standards. And the most challenging condition of upholding prescribed standards is peer accountability, when a member becomes aware of noncompliance. This is especially trying in the social environment of a university community, with young people striving to gain and maintain acceptance of their peers.”
Evans’ Virginia Tech experience portrays his devotion to duty and the pride he takes in helping others. He is a true servant-leader. He doesn’t expect or even like recognition – he says serving others is enough.Written by Drew Knapp.