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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Theme set, planning for 125th anniversary under way

By Clara B. Cox

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 21 - February 20, 1997

"Shaping the Future for 125 Years" will be the theme of the university's 125th anniversary celebration, which will begin with a student anniversary kick-off on April 3 and run through the 1997-98 academic year. A steering committee began planning events for the anniversary last spring.

The anniversary theme was developed through a student competition that yielded about 50 entries. Micah Englund, a resident advisor in Pritchard Hall, and members of the German Club, who entered several entries as an organization, shared the $125 prize money for submitting similar entries. Larry Hincker, associate vice president for University Relations and co-chair of the 125th Anniversary Steering Committee, presented Englund and German Club representatives Robby Moser, president, and Ken Hays, treasurer, with checks at the February 10 meeting of the steering committee.

The theme will be available in graphic form for use on university publications.

The principal events selected by the steering committee for the celebration include a symposium on the role of technology in higher education, an outstanding alumni speaker's series, and a distinguished faculty lecture series. Founders Day on April 4 will serve as the campus-wide kick-off event.

The group is also looking into planting an anniversary grove of trees on the lower part of the Drillfield between Drillfield Drive and West Campus Drive. Robert Wright, head of the Department of Horticulture and chair of the university's Arboretum Committee, presented a proposal for the planting to the steering committee last week.

Another event involves erecting a historical marker on Route 42 in Craig County near the home of Tech's first student, William Addison Caldwell. The Craig County Board of Supervisors has agreed to share the cost of the marker with the university and to participate in a ceremony to unveil it on October 1 if the marker is approved by the state Department of Historic Resources.

Among other activities in the planning phase are a photograph of the university community forming the numbers 125 on the Drillfield; a fine-arts event, such as a musical composition or unveiling a commissioned sculpture; walking tours led by students in period costumes; a special meal and birthday cake for students; and the April 3 student kick-off event, which would feature several rock bands and a period of lights-out on campus, followed by fireworks. The Corps of Cadets has been asked to provide a special color guard dressed in 1872 period uniforms.

The committee is also asking colleges, student organizations, and other entities on campus to link regular activities during the celebration period to the anniversary.

Virginia Tech was established by an act of the General Assembly, which was signed into law by Governor Gilbert C. Walker on March 19, 1872.