The Evolution of the Name Virginia Tech


The Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College began it's first academic session on October 1, 1872. The first student to appear, William A. Caldwell, from Craig County, was given a state scholarship by the faculty and was enrolled as the first student.

On March 5, 1896 the school changed it's name to Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute. The change reflected the development of the college into a school with a strong interest in science and technology, as well as maintaining its traditional ties to the studies of agriculture and engineering. For popular usage, the long name was shortened to Virginia Polytechnic Institute , or V.P.I.

In 1944, the words Agricultural and Mechanical College were dropped from the school's name. Virginia Polytechnic Institute, which is what the school had been commonly called since 1896, now became the official title.

In 1970, after a period of spectacular growth the school's name was changed once again. It became Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a.k.a. Virginia Tech.



More information on the history of Virginia Tech can be found in The First 100 Years: A History of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, by Duncan Lyle Kinnear.



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e-mail: lizacker@vt.edu
Last updated: July 24, 1996