Dear Members of the Virginia Tech Community,

It’s finals time and the next few days will be busy for all of us. For those of you preparing to take exams, be sure to rest, eat well, and take care of yourself as you study. 2017 is rapidly coming to a close, we’ve seen our first snowfall on the Drillfield, and we have much for which we are thankful.

The research performed by Virginia Tech faculty and students has never been more impactful, from protecting the water supplies in our communities, to leading the nation in the research needed to safely integrate autonomous vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles into our transportation systems. Our researchers are helping communities use data to improve services, and we are assembling our talent in neuroscience, nutrition science, and public health toward solutions to the scourge of opioid addiction.

Virginia Tech is leading the way toward a 21st century model for the engaged land-grant institution that we have collectively envisioned through Beyond Boundaries. In support of that vision, our endowment has surpassed $1 billion, the rate of philanthropic giving has doubled over the past two years, and applications for the first-year class are up yet again; we will set the fourth applications record in a row for the class of 2022.  We have received our highest U.S. rankings ever, including a top-10 “public good” ranking among public universities from Washington Monthly.  And in the category of “students love their school,” Princeton Review has us at #1 in the country.  We are headed to our 25th bowl game in a row, an active NCAA record.  It has been a great year for Virginia Tech.

While we have many achievements that deserve recognition, I am most thankful for the character of the Virginia Tech community and the individuals — you included — who make Virginia Tech the strongest and most resilient academic community in the country.

Our shared commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), our focus on improving the human condition, and the purposeful work we have undertaken to strive to become ever more inclusive of the talent and ideas that enrich our lives, all create a place that Laura and I are honored to call home.  

As you depart from the normal routine of the academic calendar, I hope you have ample opportunity to be with family and friends, to pursue a passion that has been on hold, or to simply rest and relax.  Be safe, and we will see you back in January.

Tim Sands
President, Virginia Tech

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