The Network Newsletter (Spring 2021)
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.
“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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 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 >>
As the department continues to grow, so does our footprint on campus! Watch this video to see our new space in Torgersen Hall >>
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
- Hokie Mentorship Connect: Join our group, Computer Science & Information Technology; a great place to interact with students in our field who are requesting advice and mentorship.
- Nominate Alumni: Alumni of the Department of Computer Science are eligible for department and college awards. You're invited to nominate a fellow alumnus or alumna by filling out this form.
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
- To make the most immediate and flexible impact on students, as well as the department's growth and excellence, make a gift to the Computer Science Department Annual Fund.
- The newly created Barbara Ryder Excellence Fund focuses specifically on supporting diversity and inclusion in the Department of Computer Science. Make a gift to the Barbara G. Ryder Fund for Excellence in Computer Science.
- Endowed scholarships help build our undergraduate scholarship endowment and enable gifts to live on in perpetuity aid students with the cost of their education year after year. Make a gift to the CS Investment in Excellence Endowment.