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Virginia Tech state of the university address focuses on finding strength

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 10:51 PM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Tech President Dr. Tim Sands held his annual state of the university address Wednesday, focusing on the future of the university and finding strength during these tough times for all of us figuring out how is best to get past the pandemic.

In the past, dozens would have filled the Moss Arts Center for this university update, typically earlier in the fall semester.

“Of course, this has not been a typical year,” Sands said. “Our experiences have affirmed Virginia Tech’s ability to meet ability with strength and resilience.”

Sands said the pandemic has defined the future of the university.

“Our resilience will be necessary going forward as the financial fallout from COVID-19 continues to impact state and university revenues,” he said.

Virginia Tech has seen a financial fallout of $60 million from things like dining, parking services and athletics, while seeing a record year of fundraising. Sands said the university won’t feel the full impact of the economic downturn until 2022.

The school pivoted in the spring, ramping up COVID-19 testing on campus and statewide.

“Now more than ever Virginia Tech is dedicated to forging partnerships and translating the research and discoveries made at Virginia Tech to impact the daily lives of people around the world.”

The school administered more than 46,000 tests starting with a 19% positivity rate in early September. That went down to one or two percent in mid-November. Virginia Tech’s goal was to keep it below five.

“Low positivity reflects a combination of low prevalence of the disease and sufficient testing,” Sands said.

The university continues to see an increased interest in freshman applications—up 30% and nearly 50% more applications for the medical school.

“The increased demand for a Virginia Tech degree reflects the relevance and value of the work that our students, faculty and alumni are doing every day.”

Virginia Tech is hopeful to increase the number of in-person courses as the semester goes on and we make our way out of this pandemic. They scaled back to 80% of classes fully remote, with only 55 in the fall.

Sands said for the first time, 20 of 22 sports teams achieved GPA’s above a 3.0.

You can watch the entire address here.

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