The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will welcome the Class of 1963 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. 4, at 3:45 p.m. The parade will be held on the Drillfield, centered on the War Memorial Chapel, located at 601 Drillfield Dr.
David Lowe, who served as the regimental commander his senior year and is president of the Class of 1963, will represent his class as the guest speaker for the parade. He served five years in the U.S. Air Force after graduation and then had a career spanning 35 years in the telecommunications industry. Lowe is past president and an honorary lifetime board member of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, he currently serves as a member of the Corps of Cadets Alumni Board of Directors, and he and his wife Sharon are members of the Ut Prosim Society.
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 p.m. and the final shot will be at about 4:15 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to come view the parade. 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. All veterans are encouraged to render a hand salute.
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 Rd., near the intersection of Prices Fork Road 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 at 330 Sterrett Dr., 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.
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 University of North Carolina 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. Keck-Beach was the first female drum major for the Highty-Tighties.
Nick Valdrighi, a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1957, will lead the Highty-Tighty alumni band for the pre-game performance at the stadium. Valdrighi served as drum major his senior year and led the Highty-Tighties when they won the second of three first place trophies in the Presidential Inaugural Parade.
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, located at 155 Otey St. NW. The VT is the old style that replicates the VT on the Upper Quad 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.