A significant milestone in the history of Virginia Tech, the formal installation of Timothy Sands as the 16th president affords the occasion to celebrate the university’s contributions to the larger community it serves.

To highlight the university’s far-reaching impact on the world, Sands commissioned an academic showcase — “Experience Virginia Tech: Learn, Explore, Engage” — a unique three-hour event featuring panel discussions, presentations, hands-on demonstrations, and talks by Virginia Tech's teachers, researchers, and students.

The event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center and is free and open to the community.

Those attending will hear from and engage with more than 75 professors, world leaders in their fields, representing a wide range of Virginia Tech expertise.

Among the topics covered include water, food, energy, the human brain, disease, robots, dinosaurs, music, endangered cats, music education, mathematics, small business, healthy kids, cancer research, poetry, and cybersecurity.

Many of the programs and displays presented Saturday morning will be suitable for families with children.

A complete listing of all the presentations, panels, and displays can be found online.

Immediately following the academic showcase, Virginia Tech will host a community pizza party from noon to 2 p.m. on Dietrick Lawn across from Cassell Coliseum. This event is also free and open to the public.

During this community picnic, approximately two dozen Virginia Tech student clubs and organizations will present child-friendly activities, including dance lessons, a photo booth, mini-pumpkin patches and pumpkin decorating, face painting, crafts, three-legged races, and bracelet making.

Parking for “Experience Virginia Tech: Learn, Explore, Engage” is available at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, as well as in the Perry Street lots located off Prices Fork Road and West Campus Drive. Parking for the community pizza party is available in the Cassell Coliseum lot.

The most current information on the two-day presidential installation celebration can be found on the presidential installation website. All events listed on the website are free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged.

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