A Pretty Nice Place

From Wallace B. Newton Sr. (Wally), for First College Visit, a series of first college visit stories by business professionals sponsored by SmartCollegeVisit.

When I first visited Virginia Tech, it was known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute  -  VPI. In the summer of 1966, I was a rising high school senior.   One of my best friend’s dads had gone to VPI way back when, and he brought us both to campus for a visit.

Wally Newton, Virginia Tech graduation picture, 1972VPI seemed  a long way from my hometown of Newport News, Virginia.  I remember walking into Burruss Hall, with its massive doors and massive auditorium, then meeting Dean Dean, an older man (it seemed) who knew my friend’s dad.  They talked old times; I listened. I told him my grades, and he told us both that if we continued  with that level of performance during our senior years, we would be accepted into VPI. I had a cousin two years older who was also at VPI, so there was little left to think about.  I applied early decision, found out in December 1966 I was in, and never applied anywhere else.
Then came September 1967, and my cousin and I drove a pickup truck from Newport News as I became a freshman.  No parents, just me and my cousin, and homesickness set in even before I left Newport News.  As we drove up three-lane Christiansburg Mountain, after what seemed like an all-day drive, I thought to myself, "What have I done?  If this is not the end of the earth, surely it cannot be far from here."  

Five years later, having acquired two degrees, a wife who was a student at Radford, and lots of friends, as I left Blacksburg in June 1972 I recall thinking, “This is a pretty nice place I leave. Maybe one day I’ll return.” 
In July 2004 I did – moved to Roanoke, 40 miles away.  The frequent trips to VPI, now known as Virginia Tech, seem ever so short.    I guess you can say you can remove the boy from the place, but you can’t remove the place from the boy.


Wallace B. Newton Sr. (Wally) is an adjunct instructor of finance at Virginia Tech.


College visits, visits to campus, planning college visitsFirst College Visit on Handshake 2.0, a series of first college visit stories by business professionals, is sponsored by SmartCollegeVisit, a college visit portal with tools and resources for planning campus visit travelcollege visit advice from parents to parents, not-to-miss college campus sites, and more. You're invited to subscribe to SmartCollegeVisit updates, to follow SmartCollegeVisit on Twitter, and to become a fan of SmartCollegeVisit on Facebook.

To Preview or Not to Preview
Leveraging LinkedIn to Maximize Results

Speak Your Mind