By Jill Elswick
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 37 - July 30, 1998
The ninth annual "Summer around the Drillfield," coordinated by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association for alumni and their families, was held this year from Tuesday, June 23 to Saturday, June 28.
A total of 130 participants enjoyed diverse daily activities such as whitewater rafting, canoeing, horseback riding, campus tours, and lectures by distinguished faculty members. Guests traveled from as far as Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Connecticut. Some families have been attending this event regularly from its inception in 1989.
A day of whitewater rafting was offered on the New River in West Virginia. Beginning and intermediate canoeing was offered locally at Whitethorn and Ripplemead on the New River. Alumni Distinguished Professor of Biology George Simmons accompanied the canoeists on each outing. An outing to Mountain Lake included swimming, paddle boating, and hiking. Golfers enjoyed a round at Castle Rock. Bikers explored the path of the New River Bike Trail. Hiking to the Cascades and a trip to Mabry Mill were also highlights of this year's activities.
Back on campus, Robert Olin, department head and professor of mathematics, gave a tour of the Math Emporium. Peggy Meszaros, senior vice president and provost, made a presentation titled "Update on Virginia Tech Academic Agenda." Derita Ratcliffe, assistant athletic director for student life in the department of athletics, gave an update on athletics and a tour of the Merryman Center. Ron Kriz, associate professor in engineering science and mechanics, gave a CAVE presentation. Ray Pethtel, associate director of the Center for Transportation Research, gave a presentation on the Smart Road. Ron Secrist, town manager of Blacksburg, gave a Blacksburg Bicentennial presentation.
Children were divided into groups by age. "Little Hokies" (ages 1 to 5) participated in "Kids on the Move" dance programs, music, stories, and visits to the Wallace Hall playground. "Hokie Kids" (ages 6 to 12) visited Earthworks Pottery, Cassell Coliseum, Hand-in-Hand playground, and Smithfield Plantation. They also learned stamp collecting, attended a basketball mini-camp with Lady Hokies basketball players, and swam at War Memorial Gym. "Hokie Teens" (ages 13 to 17) learned the admissions process from Jacqueline Nottingham, assistant director of Admissions, then went orienteering around campus. They also participated in wall climbing, in-line skating, and swimming.
June 1999 will mark the tenth-annual "Summer around the Drillfield"--special activities and a few surprises are planned in celebration.