The first phase of training for Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets’ Class of 2020 comes to an end Saturday with the Fall Caldwell March. 

The march traces the first half of the 26-mile journey Addison Caldwell, the first cadet and student at Virginia Tech, made in 1872. First-year cadets will complete the second half of the march in the spring.

“The meaning of the march has always been about the physical representation of our progress through the freshman experience, as well as our dedication to the rich heritage of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets,” said Cadet Sean Moughan, a junior from Fort Mill, South Carolina, majoring in history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and the recipient of a corps’ Emerging Leader Scholarship.

Moughan is part of the training cadre, who have worked with the first-year cadets since they arrived on campus in August. He and the rest of the cadre members will walk alongside the first-year cadets on Saturday.

“Now, being in a leadership position, it is not about what we have accomplished, but what they have,” he said. “It is a great source of pride, seeing how much they have achieved over the past six weeks.”

After Saturday’s march ends, all cadets are bused back to the Upper Quad for a ceremony near the flagpole between Lane, Shanks, and Major Williams halls. The Highty-Tighties will play, and Skipper, the Corps of Cadets cannon, will fire.

Cadets are expected to arrive at about 2:30 p.m., and Skipper will fire twice: when the cadets first enter the quad and on the first note of “Tech Triumph.” Actual time depends on how long the march takes and is subject to weather and road conditions.

Many alumni, families, and friends support the first-year cadets as they march by being a Caldwell March sponsor. Anyone who donates $500 or more to the commandant’s priorities funds becomes a sponsor. Each cadets wears a name tag recognizing their sponsor while they march. Afterward the name tag, a thank you note from the cadet, and a photo of the cadet are sent to each donor.

The generosity of corps supporters continues to have a profound impact as 126 cadets were sponsored for this year’s Fall Caldwell March raising $110,607 for the corps. 

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