Cadets and faculty from over 18 military institutions and academies across the country, including five high schools will meet at Virginia Tech from March 21 to 23 for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets 2012 Leadership Conference.

The conference will focus on topics related to servant leadership and how prioritizing service can improve one’s leadership ability. Attendees will also have an opportunity to participate in plenary sessions designed to expand their thinking about personal development.

As part of the conference events, The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will hold a formal retreat ceremony at the flag pole on Upper Quad at 4:45 p.m. on March 21. The regiment will be formed between Lane, Brodie, and Rasche Halls. The Color Guard will lower the flag, the Skipper, the Corps of Cadets cannon, will fire, and the Highty-Tighties, the regimental band, will play. All are welcome to come view this event.

Former Pennsylvania governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge will speak to the entire regiment and all visiting guests at the Cutchins Distinguished Lecture at Virginia Tech on March 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Burruss Hall Auditorium. The Cutchins Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Rice Center for Leader Development and the Pamplin College of Business. The lecture is open to the public at no charge and no tickets are required.

The visiting cadets and faculty will also hear from Frances Hesselbein, a noted expert on leadership and education, and recipient of the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her leadership as CEO of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. Hesselbein will speak on “The Future of Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities” on March 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Litton-Reeves 1670. This session is also free and open to all students and faculty.

Parking information is available online.

Other sessions include a panel discussion on leadership from the noncommissioned officer perspective and a talk on professional competence by retired Col. Richard Roszak, U.S. Air Force, Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1971, who serves as the alumni director for the Corps of Cadets.

"The annual VTCC Leadership Conference creates an environment where students and cadets of many different backgrounds can come together to discuss their theories on leadership. It creates a unique opportunity for future leaders to be exposed to different viewpoints and to develop their leadership style by incorporating the experiences of others. I am really looking forward to seeing what we can all learn from one another," says Cadet Maj. Scinju Gadamsetty of Fairfax, Va., a senior majoring in engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering who is pursuing a minor in leadership studies and is a recipient of the Matthew J. La Porte '09 Memorial Emerging Leader Scholarship. 

Gadamsetty is serving as the Cadet in Charge of the conference. He also serves as the Third Battalion Executive Officer this spring and is a member of Air Force ROTC. Upon graduation in December 2012, he will receive a commission in the U.S. Air Force.

This article was written by Cadet Aaron Balderson of Chesterfield, Va., a senior majoring in biology in the College of Science who is pursuing a minor in leadership studies and is a recipient of the Francis S. Quisenberry Memorial Emerging Leader Scholarship. Balderson is a member of the Naval ROTC program and is set to commission in the U.S. Marine Corps in May. He serves as the Third Battalion Academics Officer and is serving as the Public Affairs Officer for the conference.