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Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets breaks ground on the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building

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Category: campus experience Video duration: Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets breaks ground on the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building
Virginia Tech's three-story, 75,000-gross-square-foot Corps Leadership and Military Science Building is expected to be complete in 2023. The building will bring together the Corps of Cadets and the university's ROTC programs now dispersed across several locations and include a Corps Museum. The building will also be a hub for the university’s Integrated Security Education and Research Center, a new facility designed to blend science, technology, policy, and ethics across homeland security, national security, and cybersecurity domains.
Good afternoon and welcome to all that gathered here today to witness this historic groundbreaking ceremony for the Corps Leadership and Military Science Building. Before I continue with my remarks, I just want to congratulate all these people that you see here on the shovels They came out earlier and had already kind of done this work that you see behind me here. So let's give them a round of applause for all the prework that they did. Well, this building demonstrates the commitment of the university to the growth of the Corps of Cadets and the importance of this program to the country, the Commonwealth, and this university. As you know, we intended our building to be more than just a gathering of office spaces and classrooms for the corps and ROTC programs. It needed to be an extension of the storytelling that began with Lane Hall, Barracks Number 1, as well as Pearson Hall East and West and the Upper Quad as a whole. That is why you will see the level of detail going into every square inch of the building. Everywhere you look, there will be a reminder of what the corps has stood for since it began in 1872. It's soaring atrium will cause all that enter to look up. Seeing that not even the sky's the limit to what our graduates will accomplish in the decades ahead. We have specific spaces dedicated to integrated security that will support education and preparation for our cadets for the world that they will graduate into. Whether they serve in the public and private sector or the United States military. And as much as we're thinking about the future, we are also honoring the past. That's why a crucial and exciting part of the facility will include the Corps Museum that will allow our alumni, feature cadets, and soon to be graduates to be inspired by the historical legacy left by those who have come before. We're grateful today to have with us representatives from many elements of the university who have brought us to this point, including the Board of Visitors, staff, and alumni, and the corps itself. It's now my privilege to welcome to the podium and to today's ceremony, University President Tim Sands. Thank you very much, General Fullhart. I'm honored to be part of today's groundbreaking It is an important milestone for the Corps of Cadets and for Virginia Tech. I often talk about how much I enjoy see the corps on the Drillfield in pass a review, practicing. Unfortunately this past year, the corps was there, but the rest of our students weren't. So we're really excited about the fall and getting that symbolism of the corps back on the Drillfield where everyone can see, reminding us of our incredible history at Virginia Tech in the way that the corps connects our past to the future. The Corps Leadership and Military Science Building will provide, as you've heard, new learning and gathering space and will enhance the experience at Virginia Tech. The new building will also support our plan to invert to grow the Corps of Cadets from about 1,100 - little over 1,100 - to 1,400 cadets over the next couple of years. It also supports the broader vision for our land-grant university. Our ongoing investment in the Upper Quad demonstrates the importance of the Corps of Cadets and the leadership experiences it provides. And I've really enjoyed watching the growth and development over the past few years. It'll be exciting to have this space completed and to have it come together to have the Upper Quad in a state where - I don't think Randy would ever say that it's done - but having this building finished will be a marked milestone in the development of the corps but also of Virginia Tech. I think it'll be a real highlight in our history as we look back. Well, there have been a lot of people who've been, led us up to the position we're in right now - about to celebrate the groundbreaking. And we look forward to being here in, I don't know, two years or less to celebrate with a ribbon cutting. Now it gives me great pleasure to turn the microphone over to one of our great corps alums and a fantastic Hokie and a friend, J. Pearson. Thank you Tim. I'll behalf of all of our alumni. I want to welcome you and thank you for making this building happen. In the mid 1990s, our corps almost got shut down due to lack of interest. Now with the support of the alumni, President Sands and your team, we're heading to 1400 cadets., Can you believe it, huh? This new building right here, and I'm looking at these two officers sitting here dressed all nice. We want your federal dollars coming right here. Ok? With those new scholarships, this building is going to help you be more successful than ever before. And we want to make Virginia Tech the producer of leaders a great character. When this incredible space is finished, I know all alumni will be proud to see our shared history in a museum. And I hope they want to visit many, many times. Thank all of you for coming. And go Hokies. We did it! And now Chuck Rowell, please join us. President of the Highty-Tighties. Thank you, general. Good afternoon. How's everybody doing today? As president of the Highty-Tighty Alumni Inc. and as co-chair of the commandant's advisory group, I'm very pleased to be part of today's groundbreaking ceremony. You know, as I think about it, with this building underway now, it reminds us evermore how much we need to focus on the naming opportunities in this building, in the different rooms and part of the building that still are unfunded. As well as the fact that as we grow towards 1,400 cadets on campus in these residence halls, we need to continue to raise money for scholarships for these cadets. So thank you for allowing me the be part of this with the corps growth quickly approaching this 1,400 number, we're very excited about the future. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much, Chuck, and thank all of you for being here today. So we are about to do what we had been waiting on for many, many years and that's to literally turn some dirt and start this process off. The new Military Science Building will help the corps grow and prosper for years and years. I want to thank Randy for all his hard work on this. This simply wouldn't happen without General Fullhart and his efforts. And to the alumni and the friends who have contributed to this, I'm grateful for all that you have done for Virginia Tech and continue to do for Virginia Tech. You know, as an administrator and somebody that's been back in Blacksburg for five years, the corps is extremely important and personally, my father, Class of '52, was in the Highty-Tighties. I grew up going to the annual VPI-VMI football game and Roanoke, Victory Stadium. I remember the corps marching in and the bands playing. It's quite emotional and then growing up in this area and being brought to football games and coming for homecoming, and being part of a corps reunion and watching the band play and the corps review and the homecoming parade and all that the corps means to this institution. Going to a football game and being able to sit there as you watch the corps march into Lane Stadium as they still do today - it's a critical, critical part of not only our past but our future. And to believe today that we're approaching 1,400 undergraduates in the corps and it's growing and we're adding new buildings and you're investing in this program. This is Virginia Tech. This is what Tech means. it's important to us, important that we protect this tradition, that we grow this tradition not only for Virginia Tech but for this country. So I am very, very grateful to General Fullhart, to the alumni who've contributed to this and to all the undergrads who are making the corps a part of their future. God bless you and thank you very much for all that you do for this institution. Go Hokies.