Virginia Tech® home

The Network Newsletter (Spring 2021)

The Network

Celebrating 50 Years of Computer Science at Virginia Tech

While 1970 marks the official launch of the Department of Computer Science, the late George Gorsline, started laying the foundation in 1967 with just a handful of students.

Today, our undergraduate and graduate computer science programs are the largest in the College of Engineering – and growing rapidly. In fact, adding to the ranks of over 7,000 computer science alumni, last year we saw the largest computer science graduating class: a record 311 undergraduate degrees, in addition to 49 master’s and 28 Ph.Ds.

Virginia Tech is on the brink of an amazing decade and the Department of Computer Science is central to its planning and growth. The Commonwealth of Virginia is investing in the tech-talent pipeline at Virginia Tech, which gives us the resources to educate many more students, to pursue more innovative and high-impact research, and to better serve our community and the world. As alumni, you continue to invest in our future, as most recently evidenced with your support during the university’s Giving Day. Thank you for this trust and commitment!

A featured aspect of our current growth is Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus in Alexandria, which will help us define a new chapter of graduate education in the greater Washington D.C. metro area. I cannot wait to see what we can do together to build on a more than 50-year legacy of excellence and innovation.

Signature of Cal Ribbens

Cal Ribbens
Department Head

50th Anniversary

Virginia Tech celebrates 50 years of computer science

“I know that a virtual celebration isn’t how the department pictured hosting its 50th anniversary, but I think it will be bigger that way,” said Megan Underwood ('08). Read more about how the department is taking its celebration online >>

Virtual Student Showcase

Throughout the pandemic, our student groups and researchers have been hard at work! Learn more about what they've been up to in our Virtual Student Showcase. This virtual experience will be available April 15, 2021 at 9:00am ET. Register to receive the link >>

Beyond Blacksburg: Computer Science and the Innovation Campus

Join us live for our final virtual program in celebration of 50 years of computer science on May 18 at 7:00pm to learn more about the connection between the Department of Computer Science and the new campus in Alexandria, VA! Register to receive the link >>

50 for 50 Alumni Spotlights

50 for 50 Alumni Spotlights

The department is celebrating 50 alumni for our 50th anniversary! Get to know the alumni and their diverse backgrounds. Spotlights will be added regularly through June. Read the spotlights >>

Alumnus honors mentors with first Ph.D. fellowships in the Department of Computer Science

Alumnus Greg Lavender ('88, '93) has endowed the first two departmental Ph.D. fellowships in honor of his Virginia Tech mentors to support students in the home-stretch of their Ph.D. studies, as they strive to complete their dissertations. Learn more about the endowment >>

Growing Into New Space: Torgersen Hall Tour

Torgersen Hall New Space

As the department continues to grow, so does our footprint on campus! Watch this video to see our new space in Torgersen Hall >>

Anne Gorsline: Founding Mom of Computer Science Department

Dr. George Gorsline and Anne Gorsline were a dynamic duo, launching the department in the early 1970's from a trailer by the Duck Pond. Affectionately known as "Dr. G" and "Mrs. G," the pair had a big impact on the students. Learn some of Mrs. G's fondest memories of the early days of the department, from advocating for women and the underdogs to backyard barbeques. Read the Gorslines' story >>

Other Virtual Opportunities

Giving Day 2021

Thank you to the alumni that helped make Giving Day 2021 our most successful yet! Your generosity more than doubled our participation from our last Giving Day. These gifts help student experiential learning, such as providing equipment to student groups like the HokieNauts

Gifts help our students learn

Keep in touch

Keep in touch

We love to hear from our Computer Science (CS) alumni! Contact Hayley Roulston, alumni relations coordinator, for more ways to get involved with the department.

To better stay connected with the department, review and update your information.