To ensure all our Hokies whose lives were lost while serving during military conflict are appropriately remembered, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and Virginia Tech Alumni Association are issuing a call for any servicemen or women whose names are not currently included on the War Memorial Pylons.

In November, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors passed a resolution to create a policy on adding names to the war memorial. The new policy formalizes the long-standing tradition held by the Corps of Cadets as the guardians of the Pylons, a memorial that bears the names of students and alumni who died defending our nation’s freedom, beginning with those lost during World War I.

“With the new policy in place, we felt it was the appropriate time to reach out to all Virginia Tech alumni in search of any Hokie soldiers, airmen, sailors, or Marines whose names are missing from the Pylons,” said Col. Patience Larkin, the corps’ alumni director.

Names and supporting documents are due to the corps alumni office by May 13. Details about the application process are available online. Once verified, any missing names may be added and a ceremony honoring their service and sacrifice will be held in the fall.

The new Pylon policy reaffirms the university’s commitment to remember and respect the sacrifice of those who died and those affected by their loss, and defines the criteria and procedures for the addition of individual names to be etched onto the Pylons.

The criteria include the following:

  • The person be an alumnus of Virginia Tech. 
  • The person died in the line of duty while serving in the U.S. military during a war or  state of conflict designated by Congress.

Adding a name to the Pylons is a lengthy and collaborative process. Verifications of enrollment, death, and military records confirming a line-of-duty death must be made before the commandant of cadets and the senior associate vice president for alumni relations sign off on the addition.

The last name added to the Pylons was that of U.S. Navy Ensign Sarah Mitchell, of the Class of 2017, who died during a training exercise. Mitchell’s was the 432nd name added to the Pylons and the first of a woman.