Virginia Tech will be alive this summer with cultural events, camps, conventions, exhibits, and professional development programs that will bring thousands of visitors to its main campus from June through mid-August.

These events and activities will take place during the university’s First Summer Session, which runs May 21 through June 30, and Second Summer Session, with classes scheduled from July 2 to Aug. 11.

One of the big events during July will be new student orientation. More than 5,000 incoming freshmen and 1,000 transfer students, along with parents and other family members, will descend upon Blacksburg to attend one of the required orientation sessions for new students. Sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, orientation is a rousing, informational event that provides students and their parents a chance to learn about the university and prepare for college. Participants stay in residence halls and eat in D2 dining center. Details about the 2012 orientation programs are available on the New Student Programs website.

What is a Hokie? Incoming freshmen will have a chance to find out during a three-day orientation adventure to be held at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake. Campers gather on the university campus and are transported to the center. Hokie Camp offers those who chose to participate an opportunity to have fun, make friends, engage in service projects, and learn more about life at Virginia Tech.

In addition to summer classes and orientation programs, the university will host summer programs and events that promise something for everyone. Among a long list of summer activities are the following

  • Summer Arts Festival 2012: Sponsored by The School of Performing Arts and Cinema and the Town of Blacksburg, this is a smorgasbord of cultural arts events that take place throughout the summer. Included in this list are Friday Night Out Concerts (free live music on Henderson Lawn), free classic movies at The Lyric, movies on the lawn at the Alexander Black house, two free theatre shows including the Roanoke Children’s Theatre production of “Go Dog Go” and, back by popular demand, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.” Other events include the Summer Solstice Celebration, Art of the Market, and Blacksburg’s 33rd annual Steppin’ Out street festival. A complete list of events can be found by visiting the festival on Facebook.
  • 4-H Congress: From June 25-28, the Virginia 4-H will hold its 92nd State Congress at Virginia Tech. The event will bring more than 500 4-H members, volunteer leaders, and Virginia Cooperative Extension agents to campus. This annual statewide event offers educational experiences and competitions for outstanding 4-H members and adult volunteer leaders.
  • Future Farmers of American (FFA) Convention: More than 2,000 Virginia youth, advisors, and guests with a passion for agriculture will return to the university campus for the 86th annual Virginia FFA Convention June 18-21. This year’s theme, “Ignite the Power,” will encourage FFA members to continue the vision for excellence and success in agricultural education that the founders of FFA articulated on Virginia Tech’s campus in September of 1925. Learn more about the convention.
  • Vocal Arts and Music Festival: Opera coaches, singers, and musicians from across the globe will visit Blacksburg June 14-29 to present two weeks of performances and master classes as part of the Vocal Arts and Music Festival. Presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, the festival is one of only three International Vocal Arts Institute programs. Special events will be available each evening, including master classes from some of the biggest names in opera, a chamber music celebration, solo and group performances, and a one-act opera. Discounted packages for the entire festival are available.
  • World Polymer Conference: Virginia Tech and the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute are hosting the World Polymer Conference June 24-29. The international meeting will bring renowned speakers to the Virginia Tech campus, including Nobel Prize winner Robert H. Grubbs. More than 1,200 polymer-science experts from around the world will be housed on campus and in selected area hotels. Read more.
  • Master Gardener College: More than 300 master gardeners from across the state will convene on campus June 20-24 for the 25th annual Master Gardener College. Participants learn the latest in environmentally sound lawn and garden practices and share horticultural knowledge. Learn more on the Virginia Master Gardener Web page.
  • Virginia Bioinformatics Institute internship: The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute is offering an internship for high-school-age youth July 9-13 to expose them to the fields of research in biology, plant pathology, the environment, climate, and bioinformatics. This week-long program consists of several research activities, related tours, and a discussion and lecture series. Visit the program Web page for more information.
  • Newman Library: Don’t forget that materials, including DVDs of current films and popular leisure reading titles, are available for checkout to all Virginia residents. The library will host an exhibit commemorating the sesquicentennial of the enactment of the nation’s Morrill Act, which paved the way for the establishment of land-grant colleges and universities such as Virginia Tech. A reception to celebrate this historic event will be held July 11. Visit the library online for more information and summer hours.
  • YMCA at Virginia Tech: Open University classes at the YMCA at Virginia Tech offer a wide variety of continuing education programs from pottery to salsa dancing, learning Spanish and Turkish to outdoor grilling. The YMCA also hosts regular guided hikes, community gardens, and service opportunities for all ages. In addition, it operates two thrift shops. The YMCA’s website is full of helpful information.
  • Sports camps: The university will host nearly a dozen youth sports camps, including baseball, soccer, basketball, and wrestling camps, among others.  See a complete list on the HokieSports website.

A detailed list of summer activities coordinated by the Division of Student Affairs can be found on the division’s homepage.

A comprehensive list of summer events coordinated by Continuing and Professional Education can be found online.

These and other events are listed on the University Events Calendar.

Fall classes start at Virginia Tech on Aug. 27.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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