The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will be well represented at the Governor's Inaugural Parade on Saturday, Jan. 16 in Richmond.

Governor-elect Bob McDonnell has invited the Highty-Tighties, the corps Regimental Band, and the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Color Guard to march in the parade. In addition, 20 cadets have volunteered to serve as VIP escorts on Saturday during the parade and swearing-in ceremony.

The Highty-Tighties have marched in many presidential and gubernatorial inaugural parades during their 117 years. They have performed in the last four gubernatorial inaugural parades, most recently marching in the governor’s inaugural parade in 2006 in Williamsburg, Va., as well as performing in the “We are One” ceremony during the inaugural festivities for President Barack Obama. “We are proud to represent the corps of cadets and Virginia Tech in Richmond on Saturday and are pleased that Governor-elect McDonnell invited us to participate,” stated band director Maj. George McNeill.

The parade route is along Grace Street between 5th and 9th Streets, and then enters Capital Square beginning at 1p.m., following the swearing-in ceremony. Song selections for the parade route are: “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Them Basses,” “Semper Fidelis,” and “Joyce’s 71st New York Regiment March.”

In addition, six members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Color Guard will march in the parade. The color guard performs at 60-70 functions annually at the university and around the commonwealth. They perform at all Virginia Tech home football games, bowl games, men’s and women’s basketball games, Veterans Day events, at community churches, major conferences, and many alumni functions.

All participating cadets volunteered to come back to campus five days early from winter break to practice and prepare for this event. “We understand the importance of honoring the leaders of the commonwealth and are excited to represent the corps; giving up a few days of vacation wasn’t an issue for anyone,” remarked Cadet Peter Laclede of Fairfax, Va., a senior double-majoring in political science and history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and pursuing a minor in leadership studies. Laclede is an Emerging Leader Scholarship and Commandant’s Scholarship recipient who is serving as the corps regimental commander for the spring 2010 semester.