Virginia Tech alumni from across the country came to campus last weekend to start a new tradition, gathering for the university's first four-day, summer reunion weekend.

Reunion 2018, held June 7-10, included a welcome reception from President Tim Sands and Laura P. Sands, educational seminars and tours, dinners on the Drillfield, class happy hours, fireworks, and more.

Matthew M. Winston Jr., senior associate vice president for alumni relations, told alumni attending this year’s inaugural event that they were pioneers.

“Thank you for being part of Hokie history and beginning this journey with us. We are so grateful for your support,” Winston said. “We wanted to gather all Hokies on campus for one long weekend because we knew it would be a special opportunity. It gives us a chance to serve so many more people than our weekends in the fall.”

Alumni tour the helmet lab
Reunion 2018 attendees tour Virginia Tech's Helmet Research lab.

Holding one large reunion weekend in June is a new approach for Alumni Relations. In the past, individual classes have held reunions to celebrate their milestone anniversaries on various weekends throughout the fall.

“You took a chance with us on this new format and we hope you left campus more excited and proud of what is taking pace at your alma mater by the end of the weekend,” Winston said to alumni.

A longer reunion in the quieter summer months also means more access to campus resources and facilities.

Participants this year attended seminars from Virginia Tech engineering Professor Marc Edwards; Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus James “Bud” Robertson Jr.; Menah Pratt-Clarke, vice provost for inclusion and diversity and vice president for strategic affairs; and network analyst Mike Burnop, along with a tour of the Helmet Research Lab with Professor Stefan Duma.

Marc Edwards talks to alumni
Professor Marc Edwards talks with alumni about Virginia Tech's role in the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

Hokies attending the reunion weekend also had an opportunity to eat in Virginia Tech’s award-winning on-campus dining facilities and relive old memories by staying on campus in a residence hall.

Alumni celebrating milestone reunions during the weekend also gave generously to the university. Classes were challenged to reach 22 percent giving participation by the reunion weekend.

During the past 11 months, alumni from the nine anniversary years celebrated this weekend gave $14.8 million to the university. Each class grew the number of alumni who give back.

The Class of 1973 had the highest giving percentage with just over 19 percent of its alumni giving back to the university and the Class of 1978 raised the most money during the past 11 months, giving back $4.3 million.

Next year’s reunion is already being planned and is set for June 6-9, 2019. Reunion 2019 will celebrate milestone class anniversaries from 1974 to 2014, but all Hokies are welcome. For more information, visit

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