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Dean Morton in Burruss Hall

Dean Morton Portrait

Message from the Dean: A New Era Together

In my first year with the College of Science, one thing has become crystal-clear: The college’s most valuable currency is you—the alumni, students, faculty, and staff.

Without you, our buildings and equipment are meaningless. As we join forces to advance the college, I have no doubt that we will achieve our unified vision to be science leaders who discover, create, inspire, and inform.

Our shared challenge is to evolve as a college, pushing the frontiers of science while serving a foundational role in the university’s expansion. The College of Science is a leader in research and innovation at Virginia Tech. We combine the disciplinary pillars of basic science that are essential to discovery with transdisciplinary collaborations to address the world’s most pressing issues. 

Our shared responsibility is to prepare students to deploy scientific methods to tackle real-world challenges with a sense of purpose and engagement. Our faculty collectively teach more than 248,000 hours of instruction each year. We have the privilege of interacting with nearly every student at Virginia Tech. 

In this edition, you’ll learn about our college’s three core values—discovery, excellence, and diversity—resting on the university motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). You’ll also learn about our college’s four themes: Integrated Science; Data and Decision Sciences, including the Adaptive Brain; Global Change; and Materials for Health, Information, and Energy. In addition to reflecting the college’s strengths, these themes align with the university’s Beyond Boundaries vision. 

I am grateful for your engagement, commitment, and willingness to support the future of the college. J. Mark Sowers, a longtime friend and donor of the college, wrote explaining why he chose to sponsor a physics lecture series designed to foster curiosity. “I feel that we may be at the beginning of a new era of physics, a time where great things happen,” he said. “And I want to help encourage that, to help to promote and bring awareness to those working on the cutting edge.” 

Mark’s words are inspiring to me—and I know that his curiosity and passion for science are shared by all of us who are a part of the College of Science family. 

-- Sally C. Morton, Dean