We wrote the book
Want to learn more about our history? The department has published a book that explores our roots dating back to the beginnings of the university in 1872. It includes historic photos and stories from alumni. To order your copy, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $40, plus $7 for shipping.
Forging a legend
In 1963, three Virginia Polytechnic Institute Corps of Cadets — Alton “Butch” Harper, Homer “Sonny” Hickam, and George Fox — wanted the Hokies to have a cannon at football games to rival Virginia Military Institute's "Little John."
They convinced what was then called the Industrial Engineering Department to build a wooden model, rounded up money and donations of brass to be melted down for the project, and had the cannon cast at the Virginia Foundry in Roanoke.
At 1963's VPI v. VMI game, "Skipper" was fired for the first time. Today, cadets continue the tradition at every home football game. Materials Science and Engineering is proud to be a part of Skipper's story.
- Skipper, A Virginia Tech Tradition Since 1963
- The Skipper: How the Huffmans Helped Forge a Virginia Tech Tradition
- The Birth of Skipper - Virginia Tech Magazine, Summer 2000
- Virginia Tech Magazine, Fall 2000, Letters to the Editor
- Celebrating Skipper - 50 years - Virginia Tech Magazine, Winter 2013-14
- Virginia Tech to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Skipper, Virginia Tech News, October 17, 2013
- Skipper: Virginia Tech - RaycomSportsVideo, 2007
- Making Skipper II: A Photo Journal