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Message from the Dean

More than ever, science is essential

At Virginia Tech, we know the meaning of the University motto, Ut Prosim: That I May Serve. Virginia Tech students, staff, faculty, and alumni carry out that pillar of service in a multitude of ways — a student bringing groceries to a neighbor who cannot leave her home, or a faculty member showing students how to conduct scientific experiments via Zoom.

In the College of Science, we take a broad view of our mission to serve our community and our world. We say: Science is inherently Ut Prosim. The pursuit of scientific discovery and the work we do to address issues that challenge our nation are science in service to society.

The year 2020 has been an affirmation of the critical need for science and scientific leadership. The emergence of the novel coronavirus has placed demands on scientists to accelerate their research, or even change the nature of their work, to develop solutions to an unanticipated outbreak that altered our daily lives in a matter of weeks.

As an anxious public looks to science for help, I am proud that the College of Science is answering the call. We had researchers create a new test to identify COVID-19. We saw our Mobile Autism Clinic convert to online consultations. We had people 3D print COVID test swabs, and a statistician become an expert source for the media on how viruses spread. Our efforts continue.

As you know, the pandemic resulted in the class of 2020 not having a traditional commencement. We are using this year’s magazine to showcase this incredible class. Despite the shift in plans, no one reading this will be surprised that our 2020 Hokies handled it with grace. The Hokie spirit is one of perseverance.

Thank you again for your support of Virginia Tech and the College of Science. More than ever, science is essential to our community, our country, and the world.

scan of signed name that reads 'sally'

Sally C. Morton

Dean, College of Science
Lay Nam Chang Dean’s Chair

Follow Sally on Twitter at @sallycmorton