Members of the class of 2017 will celebrate a major milestone on the path to graduation at the annual Change of Command Parade.

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will conduct a pass in review at 10 a.m., April 29, on the Drillfield to honor the class of 2017 and to recognize the class of 2018 as the incoming cadet leaders of the regiment.

The current regimental commander is Cadet Cassandra Davis, of Richmond, Virginia, who is majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science with a minor in leadership studies from the corps’ Rice Center for Leader Development.

She is a member of Navy ROTC, the Highty-Tighties, and the Southern Colonels Jazz Band. She is a recipient of a Navy ROTC scholarship and the Georgia Robair Emerging Leader Scholarship.

“In an organization like this and as an officer, our time is one of the most valuable things we can give,” Davis said. “By sacrificing your time, your subordinates will respect you more because they know you are there to take care of them and look after their needs. And once you become comfortable with making sacrifices, you start to understand that being a leader is not about you, but about the people and organizations you serve.”

Davis will pass command to Cadet Mairead Novak, a junior from Lynchburg, Virginia, majoring in Russian and political science, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, with a minor in leadership studies.

Novak is a member of Air Force ROTC and has a four-year Air Force scholarship. She is a 2017 Keystone Fellow — students who embody the university’s Aspirations for Student Learning — and a member of the Scabbard and Blade Military Honor Society, the corps’ recruiting staff, and the its Honor Court staff.

At the pass in review, the corps will welcome President Tim Sands, who will address the cadets during the parade, and other special guests. In addition, the Highty-Tighties will play, and Skipper, the corps cannon, will be fired three times: when the cadets reach the Drillfield, at the first note of the national anthem, and the first note of “Tech Triumph.”  

The event is open to the public.

Free parking is available around the Drillfield and no visitor’s pass is necessary on weekends. Parking is also available in the Perry Street Lot and the Perry Street Parking Garage near Prices Fork Road. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200.

Written by Cadet Jasmine Jacobs, a senior from Newport News, Virginia, majoring in public relations