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.

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

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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.

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