Virginia Tech recently received the public sector Pro Patria award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Virginia Committee.

Allie Oberoi, executive officer for the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and member of the National Guard, and Curtis Mabry, senior director of human resources initiatives and partnerships for Virginia Tech’s Division of Human Resources, accepted the award on behalf of the university at a banquet.

The award, based on a Latin phrase meaning for the country," symbolizes uncommon patriotism by an employer. It is presented to employers who demonstrate exceptional support for their employees in the military service by adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the National Guard and Reserve.

“As a state higher education institute, Virginia Tech makes veteran support a priority,” said Oberoi in a nomination letter. “The Virginia Tech Division of Human Resources shows a commitment to veterans both in hiring practices as well as day-to-day actions.”

During the ESGR Virginia Committee banquet, audience members heard speeches from Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, adjutant general of Virginia and Virginia Tech alumnus, and keynote speaker Stephen D. Austin, assistant chief of Army Reserve. Both speakers showed their appreciation for the attending employers who have gone above and beyond and emphasized the importance of employers supporting guardsmen and reservists.

The award is representative of Virginia Tech’s awareness, support, and appreciation for what service members do for their country and positively reflects Virginia Tech’s respect for ensuring employees are able to fulfill their National Guard or Reserve obligation while also performing their job for the university.

“Those who work at the university and also serve in the National Guard epitomize the concept of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). That this university recognizes the importance of that service is a tribute to its leadership at all levels,” said Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart, commandant of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

Recently, College Consensus listed Virginia Tech as number eight in its list of best colleges for veterans in 2018. The university was also recognized as a military-friendly school by Victory Media in 2016 and awarded the V3 Governor’s award for most veteran hires reported by a state agency for the 2015 fiscal year.

Written by Katie Magnant, Class of 2019