Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets welcomes Class of 1962, Highty-Tighty alumni back for homecoming
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will welcome the Class of 1962 back to campus as they celebrate their entrance into the Old Guard.
In recognition of the class’s 50-year anniversary, the Corps of Cadets will honor them with a pass in review on Friday, Oct. 12, at 4 p.m. The parade will be held on the Drillfield, centered on the War Memorial Chapel. Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Waldon Kerns, the regimental executive officer for the Class of 1962, will represent his class as the guest speaker for the parade. Kerns is also professor emeritus of of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech.
During the parade the Highty-Tighties, the regimental band, will play and Skipper, the Corps of Cadets cannon, will be fired at the first note of the National Anthem and the first note of "Tech Triumph." There will be two shots total, the first shot will be at approximately 4:10 p.m. and the final shot will be at about 4:30 p.m.
Immediately following the parade, the Corps of Cadets will march back to the Upper Quad and hold a formal retreat ceremony. The ceremony will be held at the flag pole on Upper Quad. The regiment will be formed between Brodie, Rasche, and Lane Halls. The Color Guard will lower the flag, Skipper will fire, and the Highty-Tighties will play.
Everyone is welcome to come out and watch these events. The custom for those not in uniform is to remove hats and to place your right hand over your heart anytime the flag is raised or lowered or the national anthem is played.
Free parking is available in Perry Street Lots and the Perry Street Parking Garage near Prices Fork Road with a visitor’s pass. A visitor’s pass may be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center, located at 965 Prices Fork Road, near the intersection of Prices Fork and University City Boulevard next to the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. A visitor’s pass may also be obtained from the Virginia Tech Police Station, located on Sterrett Drive, outside of the Visitor Information Center hours. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200.
In addition, the Highty-Tighty alumni will return to campus for homecoming weekend and will join the current Highty-Tighties, the Gregory Guard, the Corps of Cadets precision rifle drill team, the Color Guard, and the entire cadet regiment in the Homecoming Parade on Saturday morning. New this year, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and Alumni Pipes and Drums will also march in the parade.
The Highty-Tighty alumni band will also participate in the pre-game march-on by the Corps of Cadets by playing with the current band as a combined unit prior to the Virginia Tech versus Duke football game.
The Highty-Tighty alumni band will be led by Lori Keck-Beach, a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1992, during the Homecoming Parade on Saturday morning. Cowles Merridith, a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1962, will lead the Highty-Tighty alumni band for the pre-game performance at the stadium. Both served as drum major for the Highty-Tighties their senior year.
The Highty-Tighty alumni prepare for these two performances by kicking off their reunion weekend with a two-hour practice session on Friday night. The Highty-Tighties and their alumni will also attend their annual homecoming banquet on Saturday.
The Corps of Cadets has many long-standing traditions surrounding homecoming. The Flaming VT might be one of the most recognizable to non-cadets. Hotel Company presents the Flaming VT at the Friday night spirit rally prior to the homecoming game. After burning at the rally, the VT is burned into the grass in front of the Graduate Life Center. The VT is the old style that replicates the VT on the Upper Quad between Brodie, Rasche, and Lane Halls where the cadets form up each morning.
Ranger Company, made up of cadets in the Army ROTC program, continue the tradition of running the game ball 100 miles prior to each homecoming game and then present the ball to the team on the field prior to kickoff. This tradition dates back to when cadets used to run the game ball from Blacksburg to Roanoke for the annual VMI game on Thanksgiving.