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VT 150 logo with illustration and photos of notable science members over time ranging from black and white to color

Ut Prosim

College of Science faculty, staff, and students define Virginia Tech's motto, That I May Serve

Virginia Tech is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and next. It was on Oct. 1, 1872, that the university first opened its doors as the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. During the past century and a half, Virginia Tech has gone through many changes, including its name, now Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

The Blacksburg campus has grown by leaps and bounds to more than 2,600 acres, buildings have been erected, torn down, and replaced. Hundreds of thousands of students have graduated. But one thing has remained constant, the commitment of Virginia Tech students, faculty and staff, and alumni to the cause of Ut Prosim, Latin for “That I May Serve.” This has been the Virginia Tech mission since it was introduced by then Virginia Tech President John McLaren McBryde, the fifth president of the university.

The College of Science embraces this motto wholeheartedly. Roughly 98 percent of the entire university student body takes classes in the College of Science. Members of the College of Science work every day to make people healthier, the planet more sustainable, and our communities stronger.

timeline of photos ranging from black and white to color of Science students and faculty over the decades
Students, faculty, and staff across the decades in science.

Science is essential to and at the core of solving problems and expanding knowledge. Our world stops without it. In the College of Science, we’re working to make the region’s drinking water supply cleaner, to bring autism services to rural areas, to better understand addiction and depression, to develop drugs to alleviate scores of illnesses including cancer and fatty liver disease, to remediate problems caused by sea level rise, to learn more about the genes that regulate our sleep patterns, to model diseases and improve effectiveness of vaccines, and to harness the ever-growing world of data as a tool.

We come at these issues through the well-known scientific disciplines of biological sciences, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics.

We integrate across these disciplines with our Academy of Integrated Science, the School of Neuroscience, and the new Academy of Data Science.

Over the next several pages we will highlight some of our most impactful alumni, faculty, and staff, from early in Virginia Tech’s history to present day, who are inventors, investigators, problem-solvers, and dreamers. We celebrate the graduating class of 2021, we also highlight our commitment to Women in the Sciences, and our drive to make the College of Science more diverse.