One of the most significant events in the first phase of training for the freshman class of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is the Caldwell March. The Class of 2015 of the Corps of Cadets will complete the annual Fall Caldwell March on Saturday, Sept. 24.
This is the first half of the 26-mile journey made in 1872 by Addison Caldwell, the first cadet and student at Virginia Tech. The freshmen will complete the second half of the march in the spring at the conclusion of their training year.
The starting point for the march is at the Caldwell family homestead in Craig County, Va. The entire freshman class and their training cadre, the upper-class cadets responsible for the initial phase of freshman training, are bused out to the start and then march approximately 13 miles over Sinking Creek Mountain to Caldwell Fields in Jefferson National Forest.
Often corps alumni return and join the current freshman class on the march. In addition, many alumni and friends support the new cadets as they march by being a Caldwell March sponsor. They donate $500 or more to sponsor a cadet and the cadet wears a nametag recognizing their sponsor while they march. Afterwards the nametag, a commemorative pin, and a photo of the cadet are sent to each sponsor. The generosity of Corps of Cadets supporters continues to have a profound impact as 84 cadets were sponsored for this year’s Fall Caldwell March raising $42,000 for the corps.