While the start of the fall semester is always exciting, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a university welcome a new academic year with this much enthusiasm.

Once again, our campuses are offering a full, in-person experience for students, and we are able to connect with the many communities we serve.

In August, we welcomed another academically strong, diverse entering class. Some of our newest students are the first in their families to attend college, and we are excited to offer programs that will support their successful journey toward graduation.

In October, Homecoming Week also kicked off the celebration of the university’s sesquicentennial. I invite all Hokies to help us mark this milestone through the end of 2022 by sharing university memories, making a gift, mentoring a student, and showing your Hokie pride in your own unique way.

And please make plans to visit. We’re excited to show you how our campus has grown and improved. Blacksburg is being transformed by numerous projects, including the Global Business and Analytics Complex and newly completed Creativity and Innovation District (CID) Residence Hall. The Holden Hall project is also taking shape, a critical step for the College of Engineering.

Exciting things are happening at our campuses across the commonwealth, too. Construction on the first academic building on the Innovation Campus in Alexandria began in September, and

Boeing’s $50 million commitment will enrich the entire endeavor. In October, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC celebrated the opening of its new addition in Roanoke, and we have already recruited the first of several cancer researchers who will work in Virginia Tech’s new research facility on the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus in Washington, D.C.

These facilities will allow our faculty and students to do what they do best: pursue a commitment to transformational research and inclusive, experiential education. The biomedical addition in Roanoke will advance research in such areas as brain health and disorders and cancer therapeutics. And the CID Residence Hall is an extraordinary addition to our living-learning communities.

As we turn the corner toward the culmination of the fall semester, I would like to thank our faculty, staff, alumni, parents, students, and friends for your continued support and flexibility. I also invite you to watch the 2022 State of the University address on Jan. 19, 2022, as we look back at some of our successes and share more plans for moving beyond boundaries. Until then, know that your generosity of spirit, your personal commitment, and your enthusiastic participation are the examples of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) that set our community apart and propel us into the future.

Thank you, Hokies. Be committed. Be well.

Tim Sands is Virginia Tech’s 16th president.

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