As we near the end of a very busy semester I want to take a moment to express my great appreciation to all of you. Thank you for making Virginia Tech the best land-grant research university in the country.

We are an institution on the move. The world was watching last month when we announced the creation of the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria to meet the talent needs of high-tech industries in Northern Virginia, including Amazon. When the commonwealth asked us to step forward and take on this incredible challenge, we did so because we know we are capable, and our commitment to service is integral to who we are.

The transformative gift announced earlier this month— $50 million from Heywood and Cynthia Fralin, along with the Fralin family and the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust — will accelerate our ability to produce groundbreaking biomedical research in Roanoke. VTCRI, now known as the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, will transform and energize our university, our region’s economy, and our impact on life-saving research.

This pattern of achievement is the result of your tireless efforts – our students, researchers, faculty, and staff. You make it possible for us to achieve increasingly higher benchmarks and envision greater things for our future. 

As this past semester so clearly demonstrates, the Virginia Tech tradition of continuous innovation and commitment to service is creating a new world of possibilities, for not just those of us who are part of the Virginia Tech community, but for those who are about to become Hokies, for those who engage and collaborate with Hokies, and for alumni, who are Hokies for life.

As our students are finishing their fall exams, and some prepare to graduate on Friday, Laura and I are excited about the impact they will have on a changing world. We are confident that our students will meet the challenges that confront them, with a spirit of service and community. We are proud of your accomplishments and wish you the very best as you approach the end of the semester, or for our graduating students, the end of your time on campus as a student at Virginia Tech.

Please do take care of yourselves as the semester comes to a close, and keep a watchful eye on friends and colleagues close to you. Enjoy and relax during the winter break, and for those of you who will be returning for the spring semester, get ready for an even more dynamic and exciting new year.

Tim Sands


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