Engagement and Outreach
Adopted in 1896, the university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), has long pointed to true north for Hokies. Hokies leave Virginia Tech with far more than an academic degree. Students and alumni embrace service as a way of life: They engage with others in the community, knowing that global leaders and valuable citizens must serve others in their daily lives. Service has become Virginia Tech’s most important tradition.
Global outreach, local impact
Virginia Tech's Outreach and International Affairs supports the university’s engagement mission by creating community partnerships and projects, offering professional development programs and technical assistance, and building collaborations to enrich discovery and learning — all with the overarching goal of improving the quality of life for people within the commonwealth and throughout the world.
Outreach and International Affairs guides Virginia Tech’s global presence; its regional research and professional development and development centers across the commonwealth focus on graduate education and professional development. Blacksburg-based centers are dedicated to engagement, language, culture, and economic development.
VT Engage is a center in Student Affairs that seeks to equip students to serve as change agents who make the world more equitable and just through their commitment to community and civic engagement. VT Engage partners with organizations locally, regionally, and globally to create service experiences that prioritize community partners' goals, cultivate student learning, and engage students in developing their leadership capacities.
One of VT Engage's signature programs, The Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech, combats hunger and food waste by redirecting unserved and unused food from campus dining centers to nonprofits in the New River Valley. Since its launch in 2015, the Campus Kitchen has diverted more than 146,000 pounds of food to community – the equivalent of 22 elephants!
Student Engagement and Campus Life
Student Engagement and Campus Life offers events, experiences, and facilities that promote an appreciation for diversity and inclusion, responsibility for self-learning, critical thinking, and the necessary skills to become life-long learners and courageous leaders.
Involvement with a student organization has been shown to be a vital part of student success and well-being. At Virginia Tech, there are more than 800 student organizations led by graduate and undergraduate students, each with a different focus and mission. Students Engagement and Campus Life encourages and guides students as they explore the variety of organizations and activities that make our campus and culture so special. Gobblerfest, the annual welcome festival for students, faculty, staff, and community members, is just one opportunity to find your place at Virginia Tech.
The Big Event, a student-run community service event, is the second-largest Big Event in the nation. And the student-run Relay For Life on the Drillfield consistently ranks as the best in the nation, with students, alumni, families, and alumni chapters participating to raise more than $500,000 annually for cancer research.
Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets traces its beginnings to the university’s founding in 1872. Today, Virginia Tech is one of the nation’s six senior military colleges and one of just two comprehensive public research universities to operate a corps alongside a civilian student body.
The Corps of Cadets is a four-year, full-time leadership development program. Cadets study leadership, learn from experts, and — most importantly — practice what they have been taught while leading the regiment of more than 1,000 of their peers.
While many corps alumni go on to distinguished careers in the U.S. military, a quarter of all cadets prepare for the public and private sectors. The corps’ Citizen-Leader Track offers cadets a military experience without a military obligation after graduation, and nearly 75 percent of them have lined up jobs or graduate school before they graduate.
Regardless of their path, graduates are leaders of exemplary character who possess the values and skills essential for leadership success in service to our nation.