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From the Dean

The Shape of Our Future

I am pleased to share the 2016–2017 issue of our college’s new magazine, Illumination. The format is designed to capture the vitality, creativity, and commitment that define our faculty, students, alumni, and programs. We had difficulty picking which stories to highlight because the theme for this inaugural issue—creativity and innovation—is so integral to the learning enterprise at the college. For every story we were able to include, there were five more we wanted to tell.

This has been a vibrant year for the college. In the fall of 2016, we welcomed 556 first-year students, and more than 20 new faculty members joined us at the Blacksburg, Roanoke, and Falls Church campuses. Both of these groups are among the most qualified and diverse ever. Our departments have been developing exciting and relevant programs and majors in such areas as National Security, Fashion Merchandising and Design, Sports Media and Analytics, and Creative Technologies in Music.

In 2015, I described the “VT-shaped learning” that I saw defining the interplay between liberal education and technological expertise at Virginia Tech. I am pleased that this concept has since become part of Beyond Boundaries, the university’s visioning initiative, as we renew our mission to educating students in ways that bring together deep in-field knowledge, cross-disciplinary reach, experiential learning, and service commitments. As you will see throughout this issue, VT-shaped learning captures the true spirit of Virginia Tech education and the Hokies who embody it.

I hope you enjoy the stories of our community. I also invite you to visit the college, both in person and online, to learn more about what is happening on campus and across the Hokie Nation.

Elizabeth Spiller
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences