Greg Klatt, president of the Class of 2020, lives by Virginia Tech’s motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

“When I was a kid my mom got me so involved in service that I’m pretty sure I’ve been to more events as a volunteer than I have as a guest or patron throughout my life,” Klatt laughed.

He was taught at a young age that service is not what you do, but how you do it - that being there for others and going the extra step to make others feel good is what service is about. That perspective has shaped his time as Class of 2020 president.

Class office is not a four-year commitment, but one each officer makes for life. Becoming an officer not only makes these people leaders in the community, but also an essential part in shaping long-lasting traditions at Virginia Tech.

Sitting in the class office room, a cramped place of invention, hard work, and countless memories, Klatt revealed what he hopes to accomplish as president: to unify students who are all different, but share one important trait - everyone is a Hokie.

“I was at Hokie Camp when I realized I wanted to be class president. We were sitting at the campfire listening to stories about where everyone was from and why they chose to come to Tech,” Klatt said. “In that moment I sort of reflected and thought, if I could do the role of class president and help bring all of these people together through Ring Dance and Ring Premiere, and do a good job with it, well, that’s all I could ask for. I got inspired to basically just try and serve the class and help bring us all together.”

Klatt speaking to classmates at the Class of 2020 Ring Premiere
Klatt speaking to his classmates at the Class of 2020 Ring Premiere. Photo by Dan Mirolli for Virginia Tech.

Putting on events like Ring Dance and Ring Premiere, which are focused on class camaraderie, have been Klatt’s job. Ring Dance was a chance for him, and the rest of the 2020 class office and Ring Dance committee, to give back to their class. It was a way to say thank you and acknowledge the importance each student had in creating one another’s Virginia Tech experience.

“I couldn't care less if zero people or 6,000 people know who I am as class president. That’s never been part of the job. It’s always been about working the background, like a stagehand at a play. If the play can go on and be the best that it can be, then I’ve done my job, and that’s kind of what I want to leave to the classes below me.”

An example of that is when he and the other members of Ring Design were creating the 2020 class ring. It was their goal to put at least one or two elements that each student could identify with into the ring so that in end it would represent the whole class together.

“[During] Ring Premiere I was sitting down in the back of the auditorium and watching the entire crowd react as the ring was unveiled. Now, looking back on Hokie Camp, amongst everyone at the campfire, and paralleling that to Ring Premiere and looking around at that entire crowd, it seems to be like two sides of the same stone,” Klatt said.

At commencement this spring, Klatt hopes his vision from that night at Hokie Camp comes to fruition. He wants to stand at the lectern, look across Worsham Field, and see the faces of fellow Hokies all united in that moment, reminiscing on the past four years they have had together. Then he’ll know his job is complete.

- Written by Amanda Hinton '20