Bruce B. Harper (webmaster)
Student: Amanda Robinson
Director of Content Strategy
Director of Design & Digital Strategy
Senior Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations
To the editor
Beyond the classroom
I recently received our copy of the Virginia Tech Magazine and read the article about President Sands’ challenge to “Pick Up the Lunch Pail.” The story brought to mind the many ways that students at Virginia Tech give back through community organizations and volunteerism. As a Hokie parent, it makes me proud to know that the university encourages students and alumni to prioritize community involvement.
LET'S GO: Along with this letter, Natasha Rocheleau shared this photo of her daughter, Julia Rocheleau (right), a rising sophomore studying clinical neuroscience, who joined a volunteer team from Mass General in Boston to provide education, primary health care, and community outreach services in Haiti.
I am writing in reference to the article about Virginia Tech, railroads, and New York (spring edition, page 46).
I was a freshman at Tech in 1955. Several times that year I traveled by train from my home in Portsmouth, Virginia to Blacksburg. Back then one could do that. I don’t recall the exact route, but it seems the trains simply headed west from Norfolk. The train passed through several college towns. I recall meeting students from Randolph-Macon, Longwood, and Washington and Lee among others.
Most days the train went only to Christiansburg, and it was a bus ride to Blacksburg. However, once a week, the Huckleberry connected with the Norfolk and Western and carried passengers to Blacksburg.
According to my memory, on one trip west I remarked to the conductor that the train was moving right along – up hill. He took me to a conductor’s compartment and showed me a speedometer. The train was going 90 miles per hour. With a big steam locomotive. Few, if any, U.S. trains can do that now!
Those were the glory days of train travel. Frequent trains going many places, fast trains, great service. So, I hope those who travel between Blacksburg and New York have some trips as memorable as mine. Glad to know such travel is still possible in a few places.
Richard Leary ’59
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The university's flagship publication, Virginia Tech Magazine forges stronger relationships among alumni, donors, and friends of Virginia Tech. The magazine highlights the vibrancy of a university on the leading edge of technology, service, learning, research, and scholarship and showcases the achievements of alumni, faculty and staff, and students through a rich array of feature stories, alumni profiles, and university and alumni news. Virginia Tech Magazine is published quarterly by the Office of University Relations, with support from Alumni Relations. The Virginia Tech Foundation underwrites most production costs.