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Just over a year ago, over 300 Pamplin College of Business alumni, friends, faculty, and staff gathered together for the inaugural Pamplin Engagement Summit. The summit provided an unprecedented opportunity to bring together senior volunteer leaders to celebrate the college as well as plan for its future.

While the past year has not gone the way that anyone could have anticipated, the ideas and objectives discussed during the summit are still alive and well.

“The fact that you are all here today demonstrates your passion and support for Pamplin,” said Jim Hatch, 2018 University Distinguished Alumni Service Award recipient and honorary summit chair, to the attendees of last year’s summit.

“The positive impact that comes from volunteer alumni working to contribute their time, talent, and treasure cannot be overstated,” he continued.

One of the primary points of interest during the Engagement Summit was the Global Business and Analytics Complex, or GBAC. Groundbreaking for the complex, which will be comprised of four buildings to be constructed on the Blacksburg campus, is expected to begin later this fall. The Global Business and Analytics Complex aligns with the themes of the college’s strategic plan – focused excellence on what matters most, inspiring people to passionate pursuit, and building excellence through world-class systems – which are all perched upon four “Pamplin Pillars,” or focused areas of study and business practice.

During the summit, Pamplin Dean Robert Sumichrast unveiled those pillars to the audience: Business Analytics, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Security, Privacy and Trust, and the Human Condition.

“I’m inspired by the contributions you make to the college,” Sumichrast told the summit audience after unveiling the pillars. “You help make Pamplin College of Business the best business school experience in the country.”

A featured topic of the Engagement Summit was that of alumni engagement. Kevin Lane, Pamplin Advisory Council cabinet member and alumni engagement chair, led a panel discussion on the “Pamplin Alumni Lifecycle.” The discussion featured Kenneth Cooke, vice president controller at American Express; Shirley Edwards, senior client servicing partner at Ernst & Young, LLP; and Negar Jamshidimehr, a manager at EY. Each discussed their experience as Pamplin alumni and answered questions regarding the best ways to approach alumni in different stages of their careers, or “lifecycles.”

Building upon that discussion, Pamplin recently launched its redesigned Alumni Relations website to make it even easier to connect, or re-connect, with the college despite the challenges of today. Many of these engagement opportunities can happen virtually and coming together is more important now than ever before to sustain the ties, relationships, alumni networks, and student engagement that will all be critical to seeing us through the current pandemic and challenges it brings to our workplace, educational experiences, and our lives.

“I view it as a responsibility and a privilege to engage with Virginia Tech and Pamplin in supporting the next generation of emerging professionals,” reads a welcome message from Lane on the website.

It is a gratifying experience to work in fellowship with so many talented alumni in supporting the university and the College of Business community.”

The site features ways to engage with the college through volunteering or to connect with the college via social media channels as well as the Pamplin Pulse. The site also enables those interested in supporting the college a quick and easy way to make a gift.

Speaking via a recorded message at the summit due to the VT Foundation board meeting that took place simultaneously to the Engagement Summit, university President Tim Sands highlighted Pamplin’s impact on the overall goals of Virginia Tech. “We are about to launch our most ambitious campaign in history, and Pamplin is leading the way.”

One year later, that statement still holds.

“Since the last year's Engagement Summit we have continued to see the spirit of community grow even stronger through initiatives sponsored by individual advisory boards and the the Pamplin Community for Leadership and Engagement (PCLE), such as student mentoring and sharing of best practices,” added Hatch.

Pamplin is looking to the future in 2022, a year which marks the university’s sesquicentennial anniversary. Preliminary plans are underway for the next Pamplin Engagement Summit when we look forward to being together again. All volunteers will be welcome – now is the time to sign up!