History of the National Capital Region

Virginia Tech is firmly planted in the National Capital Region (NCR) and continues to advance the university missions of instruction, research, and outreach. With humble beginnings in a Reston farmhouse, which served as a graduate center in 1969, the National Capital Region campuses today include the Northern Virginia Center (NVC) in Falls Church and three locations in Old Town Alexandria, including the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC). Some 1,077 graduate students are enrolled in more than 45 graduate degree programs taught by 120 full-time faculty members.More than 85 active researchers are responsible for research expenditures in excess of $15 million, and growing.  The region’s outreach program provides noncredit educational services to more than 1,600 individuals annually.

The following timeline provides a look at how Virginia Tech has grown and continually affirms a strong presence in the National Capital Region by adding buildings, creating new graduate programs and research centers, and forming notable collaborations and partnerships that further foster education and research.

The late Paul Mellon and his wife donate a 420-acre farm in Middleburg to Virginia Tech. The Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension (MARE) Center is devoted primarily to beef cattle research until 1992.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension opens an office in Arlington County.

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS) offers an Urban Affairs and Planning graduate program.

Farm House

Virginia Tech opens the door to its first Northern Virginia Graduate Center, located in a Reston farmhouse on Sunset Hill Road. Homer Kempfer is appointed the first director of the center. There are two resident faculty members, a part-time staff, and 65 students.

The College of Education offers graduate degrees in Adult Learning.

An economics program is initiated, doubling the number of resident faculty.

The Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory (OWML) opens in Manassas.

Dulles Airport

Having outgrown space in a Reston farmhouse, Virginia Tech moves its graduate center to the first floor of the Dulles International Airport Gateway 1 building.

 

An engineering program begins in the region.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension in Arlington County launches the first Farmer's Market in the area.

  • The College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS) pilots the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center program at the former school house located at 1001 Prince Street. The building was loaned to Tech by the City of Alexandria.
  • In the College of Education, the Adult Learning program hires full-time faculty in the region.
Telestar

Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia move their shared graduate center in the region from the first floor of the Dulles International Airport Gateway 1 building to Telestar Court in Falls Church.

 

The College of Engineering offers its first graduate programs.

The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, one of three campuses of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, opens in Leesburg as a teaching hospital.


EMC

(left to right) Former Virginia Tech President William Lavery, former Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation Trustee Leonard T. Scully, Senator John Warner, Mrs. Jean Ellen duPont Shehan, University of Maryland President Dr. John Toll and Dr. G. Frederick Fregin cut the ribbon at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center's dedication ceremony in October 1984.

Students Vist FDR Memorial in Washington DC

Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at 17690 Old Waterford Road at Morven Park

 

  • The Virginia Tech Foundation purchases the building at 101 Columbus Street, housing the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC).
  • The Adult Learning program is relocated from Blacksburg to the National Capital Region.
  • The Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) establishes the Architecture Consortium which allows participating universities from around the world to send students and faculty members to Alexandria for a semester or academic year.
  • The Virginia Tech Foundation purchases two buildings on Patrick Street in Old Town Alexandria. The Rectory houses the American Institute of Architects (AIA) offices and The Gallery serves as a limited capacity dormitory for students in the region.
  • Computer Science in the College of Engineering offers an M.S. in Information Systems.
  • George Truman “G.T.” Ward, partner and principal, Ward/Hall Associates, AIA; member, Virginia Tech Board of Visitors; and 1951 Virginia Tech alumnus, spoke at commencement.
WAAC

The Virginia Tech Foundation sells the building at 101 Columbus Street and purchases a historic building in Old Town Alexandria, the old schoolhouse at 1001 Prince Street. It becomes the permanent home for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies' Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC). Built in 1910 as the Lee School for Girls, the City of Alexandria used the building as a public school until 1980.

The Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension (MARE) Center rededicates itself to equine research. The center's former focus, on beef cattle research, dates back to 1949 when Virginia Tech acquired the 420-acre farm from the late Paul Mellon and his wife.

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies' Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP) offers an MPA program at Telestar Court.

College of Natural Resources offers a graduate program at the Telestar Court facility.

  • Groundbreaking is held for the Virginia Tech/University of Virginia Northern Virginia Center (NVC) in Falls Church, 7054 Haycock Road.
  • Science and Technology Studies is added to Virginia Tech graduate programs in the region.
NVC

In 1997, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia dedicates the Northern Virginia Center (NVC), a 105,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art graduate center located adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro station. At the ribbon cutting ceremony (left to right) were: Paul Torgersen, President, Virginia Tech; John Casteen, President, University of Virginia; Dale Dover, Mayor of Falls Church; Katherine Hanley, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; U.S. Senator Chuck Robb; U.S. Representative Tom Davis, and Virginia Delegate Bob Hull.

NVC

Northern Virgina Center, 7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church.

 

ARI

The Alexandria Research Institute (ARI) launches at 405 South Washington Street, Alexandria, to provide a platform for engineering and computer science researchers to interact with their counterparts in academia, government, and industry in the metropolitan DC area. ARI also serves as a gateway to the R&D base at the main campus in Blacksburg. (Renamed Advanced Research Institute in 2005.)

The College of Engineering offers full-time M.S. and Ph.D. programs.

  • Virginia Tech establishes Northern Virginia Operations and names James Bohland executive director.
  • The Center for Food, Nutrition, and Policy (CFNP) serves as a Virginia Tech research center (until 2005).
  • The International Institute for Information Technology (IIIT) is formed, led by Leonard Ferrari, vice provost for special initiatives, with offices in the Alexandria Research Institute (ARI). IIIT later combines with Northern Virginia Operations in 2003.
  • The College of Natural Resources names David Trauger full-time director of the Natural Resources masters program.
  • The Center for Food, Nutrition, and Policy (CFNP) serves as a Virginia Tech research center (until 2005).
  • The International Institute for Information Technology (IIIT) is formed, led by Leonard Ferrari, vice provost for special initiatives, with offices in the Alexandria Research Institute (ARI). IIIT later combines with Northern Virginia Operations in 2003.
1021 Prince

The Metropolitan Institute (MI) at Virginia Tech and other graduate programs move into a newly renovated building at 1021 Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria. The building was purchased by the Virginia Tech Foundation in 2001.

 

  • The Pamplin College of Business inaugurates an Executive MBA Program
  • The Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT) launches, supported by IIIT and Tech’s ASPIRES program. CGIT has bases in Old Town Alexandria and Blacksburg and is led by Randy Dymond.
  • Virginia Tech announces that National Capital Region will replace Northern Virginia Operations as the new identifier for all Virginia Tech facilities in Northern Virginia, including graduate programs and research centers in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Leesburg, Manassas, and Middleburg.
  • The College of Engineering offers a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering.
ARI in Arlington

The Alexandria Research Institute (ARI) moves to the Ballston area of Arlington and is renamed the Advanced Research Institute.

 


Virginia Tech President Charles Steger addresses graduates speech

Virginia Tech holds its 25th National Capital Region commencement ceremony. Pictured right is Virginia Tech President Charles Steger addresses graduates at the 25th National Capital Region commencement ceremony.


The first cohort at MBA department

The first cohort in the Pamplin College of Business Executive MBA Program graduates in 2005. The graduates are pictured here with former Vice President Walter Mondale who addressed participants and guests during a ceremony at Mount Vernon.

The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) opens an office in Old Town Alexandria at 1101 King Street.

President Charles Steger answers questions

President Charles Steger answers questions during a press event to launch the Energy Efficiency Partnership of Greater Washington in 2007.

 

Congressman Jim Moran as a guest speaker

Congressman Jim Moran, of Virginia's Eighth Congressional District, was a guest speaker when Virginia Tech President Charles Steger announced in 2008 that Virginia Tech is building a major research center in the Ballston area of Arlington.

 

  • Virginia Tech and Georgetown University offer a joint graduate level degree, Master of Science in Biomedical Technology Development and Management.
  • Virginia Tech announces that it will build a major research center in the Ballston area of Arlington, with planned occupancy by late 2010. The seven- story, 144,000-square-foot building will be owned by the Virginia Tech Foundation.
  • Virginia Tech offers a geospatial graduate degree program in College of Engineering designed for students in the National Capital Region.
  • The Language and Culture Institute opens a second program in National Capital Region, and lanuches its first English Language Program (ELP) classes with six international Fulbright scholars. Andrea Todd is named associate director of the program.
Artist Rendering of Ballston Building

Construction is underway on Virginia Tech’s major research center in the Ballston area of Arlington. The seven-story 144,000 square-foot building will be owned by the Virginia Tech Foundation.

Students Vist FDR Memorial in Washington DC

Left to right, Seong K Mun, professor of Physics and research fellow at the Virginia Tech Institute for Advanced Study; Charles Steger, president, Virginia Tech; Jim Bohland, vice president and executive director, Virginia Tech National Capital Region Operations; John Dooley, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs; Ted Settle, director, Office of Economic Development; and Bob Walters, vice president for research visited the site.

  • Hokies on the Hill internship program is launched, offering undergraduate students an opportunity to gain a full semester’s worth of academic credit while interning on Capitol Hill and participating in small classroom seminars focusing on real world, timely policy topics.
  • Virginia Tech college of Natural Resources renamed College of Natural Resources and Environment.
Students Vist FDR Memorial in Washington DC

In January, the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) expanded its footprint in Old Town, leasing a corner property one block east of its main building on Prince Street. The new property at 901 Prince includes studio, seminar, and office space for National Capital Region faculty and students in landscape architecture and architecture.


Students Vist FDR Memorial in Washington DC

More than 150 members of the scientific community from greater Washington, D.C., gather for a Meet the Scientists event, organized in the National Capital Region to maximize the opportunities for networking among scientists and to provide a forum for sharing Virginia Tech's research capabilities in the new research center at the National Capital Region, in Roanoke, and in Blacksburg.

Students Vist FDR Memorial in Washington DC

Virginia Tech Research Center—Arlington opens to expand capability for scientific inquiry, extend university footprint in National Capital Region. A number of already established Virginia Tech research centers and institutes, previously located throughout the northern Virginia area, are moved to the new facility, owned by the Virginia Tech Foundation. These include the Advanced Research Center, the Center for Geospatial Information Technology, the Center for Society, Culture and Environment, the Center for Technology, Security and Policy, and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute

Students Vist FDR Memorial in Washington DC

Cutting the ribbon at Virginia Tech Research Center -- Arlington in June 2011 are left to right, Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger; Congressman Jim Moran; National Capital Region Operations Vice President and Executive Director Jim Bohland, and Arlington County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman.

  • The College of Natural Resources and Environment launches the Executive Master of Natural Resources program in Leadership for Sustainability which emphasizes the need for effective partnerships involving interdisciplinary, multi-institutional, and cross-cultural collaboration among business, civil society, and government.
601 Prince Street

With termination of the lease at 901 Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria, the Virginia Tech Foundation purchases a 1,200-square-foot Greek Revival-style building constructed in 1840 at 601 Prince Street, bringing the total number of university buildings to five within a five-block radius. 601 Prince Street houses offices for six to seven faculty members and design studio space for 75 students enrolled in masters and Ph.D. programs in architecture and landscape architecture offered by the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center.

  • National Capital Region announces NCR Strategic Plan to build on Virginia Tech’s history and strengths in the region. The plan, created by a committee representing all significant operations units within the region, promotes innovative and efficient use of resources to ensure that the region can support all three pillars of the university: learning, discovery, and engagement.
  • Virginia Tech offers project management courses in the National Capital Region.
  • Philip Spellerberg, retired laboratory specialist, receives 2013 Staff Career Achievement Award from Virginia Tech for his work at Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Lab.
  • Michele "Shelley" Duke of Middleburg, Va., is recognized with Virginia Tech’s highest honor – the William H. Ruffner Medal -- for the substantial difference she has made to the university through her volunteer service and support. Her relationship with Virginia Tech spans more than 20 years and started when she began volunteering for and donating to the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center, located in Leesburg and part of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2009, she delivered the address for the university's National Capital Region Commencement.
  • Nathan Heavers, assistant professor of Landscape Architecture, recently presented the inaugural Outstanding New Faculty Lecture, sponsored by the National Capital Region Faculty Association.
  • Kathleen Hancock receives 2015 XCaliber Award for an individual making extraordinary contributions to technology-enriched active learning.
  • Virginia Bioinformatics Institute accepts Outstanding Achievement in Bioscience award from Gov. Terry McAuliffe during a THRiVE 2015 conference in Chantilly, Virginia. THRiVE 2015 was organized by Virginia Bio, a statewide nonprofit trade association representing the life sciences industry in Virginia. Its mission is to connect entrepreneurs with funders, collaborators with partners, and push bioscience in the commonwealth into the 21st century.
  • Dr. Michael Erskine is named director of Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg.
  • The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute is given a new direction and a new name — the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech to reflect the evolution of life science research at Virginia Tech and the university’s ability to continually innovate and refresh its land-grant mission.

Hume Center, located in Blacksburg and the National Capital Region, launches CyberLeaders 2020 with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.