To the Virginia Tech Community,

As we process Tuesday’s news about Amazon coming to Northern Virginia and the exciting announcement of Virginia Tech’s 1 million-square-foot Innovation Campus in Alexandria, I want to take a moment to express my deep appreciation to all of you.

This is a great moment for Virginia Tech. Our historic commitment to build a graduate education, research, and innovation campus less than two miles from the new Amazon location was the centerpiece of the higher education proposal that closed the deal.

You made it possible. Your sustained scholarship, leadership, and hard work have elevated our university across the board, including our foundational strengths, the Institutes, the Virginia Tech Carilion Health Science and Technology Campus in Roanoke, and our presence in the National Capital Region. Because of you, Amazon and Northern Virginia were willing to put their faith in Virginia Tech.

This transformational plan will not divert resources or attention away from our Blacksburg and Roanoke campuses.  On the contrary, it has the potential to further energize Southwest Virginia.

The Virginia Tech Innovation Campus will leverage assets, talent, and programs in Blacksburg and Roanoke with opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to move freely between the two regions of the commonwealth. 

In turn, the Blacksburg/Roanoke campus will benefit from expanded connections to industry, government, and nongovernmental organizations, along with opportunities to reach an expanded community of engaged philanthropists.

Now we’re ready to move forward and do what we do best, develop the leaders and innovators of the future. Not just for Amazon, but for the commonwealth, the country, and the world.

This is our role as Virginia’s land-grant research university. We’re ready to fully engage your talent, ideas, and energy to make this great moment an inflection point in Virginia Tech’s rise as a top global university.

Tim Sands,

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