The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will welcome the Class of 1965 back to campus to celebrate their entrance into the Old Guard.

In recognition of the class’s 50-year anniversary, the Corps of Cadets will honor class members with a pass in review at 3:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23. The parade will be held on the Drillfield, centered on the War Memorial Chapel, located at 601 Drillfield Drive.

John Grigg, who served as the Regimental Second in Command his senior year, will represent his class as the guest speaker for the parade. He earned his degree in industrial engineering from the College of Engineering. Grigg is retired from Boeing-Military Flight Test Business Operations.

During the parade the Highty-Tighties, the regimental band, will play and Skipper, the Corps of Cadets cannon, will be fired at the first note of the national anthem and the first note of "Tech Triumph." There will be two shots total, the first shot will be at approximately 3:55 p.m. and the final shot will be at about 4:10 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to view the parade. The custom for those not in uniform is to remove hats and to place your right hand over your heart any time the flag is raised or lowered or the national anthem is played.

Free parking is available in Perry Street Lots and the Perry Street Parking Garage near Prices Fork Road with a visitor’s pass. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, located at 965 Prices Fork Road, near the intersection of Prices Fork and University City Boulevard next to the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. A visitor’s pass may also be obtained from the Virginia Tech Police Station, located at 330 Sterrett Drive, outside of the Visitor Information Center hours.  Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200.

In addition, the Highty-Tighty alumni will return to campus for homecoming weekend and will join the current Highty-Tighties, the Gregory Guard, the Corps of Cadets precision rifle drill team, the Color Guard, Skipper, and the entire cadet regiment in the Homecoming parade in downtown Blacksburg on Saturday morning.

The Highty-Tighty alumni band will also participate in the pre-game march-on by the Corps of Cadets by playing with the current band as a combined unit prior to the Virginia Tech versus Duke University football game.

Lori Keck-Beach, a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1992 who earned her degree in liberal arts and sciences from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will lead the Highty-Tighty alumni band during the Homecoming parade. Keck-Beach was the first female drum major for the Highty-Tighties.

Alex Grover Josey and Herbert Cox, the drum majors for the Class of 1965 who both earned degrees in metallurgical engineering from the College of Engineering, will lead the Highty-Tighty alumni band for the pregame performance at the stadium. 

The Highty-Tighty alumni prepare for these two performances by kicking off their reunion weekend with a two-hour practice session on Friday night. The Highty-Tighties and their alumni will also attend their annual homecoming meal on Saturday.

The Corps of Cadets has many long-standing traditions surrounding homecoming. The Flaming VT might be one of the most recognizable to non-cadets. Hotel Company presents the Flaming VT at the Friday night spirit rally prior to the homecoming game. After burning at the rally, the VT is burned into the grass in front of the Graduate Life Center, located at 155 Otey St. The VT is the old style that replicates the VT on the Upper Quad where the cadets form up each morning.

Ranger Company, made up of cadets in the Army ROTC program, continue the tradition of running the game ball 100 miles prior to each homecoming game and then present the ball to the team on the field prior to kickoff. This tradition dates back to when cadets used to run the game ball from Blacksburg to Roanoke for the annual VMI game on Thanksgiving. Join the Ranger Company cadets and run with the ball around campus on Friday, Oct. 23.

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