In one week, 91 Marching Virginians will walk across the stage and enter a new chapter in their lives. Some will receive their first college degrees, while others will finish up their graduate programs. Some will pack up their apartments for good, while others will prepare for another year in Blacksburg. And while some will perform another season in Lane, others will step aside for future Marching Virginians to take their place.
With 76 of these seniors being 4-year marchers and 41 having served on leadership, the 2019 graduating class of The Marching Virginians has seen it all. For many of us, this journey started back in 2015. While the incoming rookies were moving into their new homes, the MVs found their new home as well, the Marching Virginians Center. Over the next two years, we welcomed a new assistant director each season. In the following year, we said goodbye to our head director Dave and saw the return of our first assistant director, Dr. Polly Middleton, to fill his role in our final year. We’ve gone to an ACC Championship, played at the largest football game ever in the Battle at Bristol, paraded in Orlando and D.C., performed one last time for Tony, and thanked Frank for his final game.
Across all these years, there is no way to compile all of the countless memories and thank you’s from this graduating class, but here are a few of the things the seniors had to say:
“My time with the MVs is everything I hoped it would be and more! Growing up in a household with a parent who was in the MVs made making the band my freshman year of college that much more special! This organization has given me lifelong friends, a future husband, and memories that will last a lifetime!” –Zoe Moeller
“My favorite memory is when my brother, Connor, made the band his senior year, after being a manager for 3 years. I will never forget watching his reaction to seeing his name on the trombone section roster. I have learned how relentless hard work and dedication to something you love can pay off.” –Shane Allin
“Each director we had the pleasure of working with left their own mark on this band and more importantly on every individual they interacted with, making us all better people. To Dave, Polly, Dana, and Chad, thank you. You all made this band amazing to be a part of and made us all better musicians and people.” –Aaron Bryant
“My favorite experiences include every time we did the Hokie Pokie for a crowd. One of my favorite things is to see how happy everyone gets trying to do the dance with us!” –Stephanie Quesenberry
“Even if I was having a bad day and didn’t feel like going to rehearsal, I always left the field at the end of practice feeling better than before.” –Nathalie Unico
“Four years of MVs was – at different times – thrilling, suspenseful, exhausting, rewarding, and challenging. After four years though, I feel more fulfilled than ever, having formed lifelong friendships and learned invaluable lessons.” –Lauren Beard
“One of the highlights of my college experience. I have the MVs to thank for being one of the organizations that helped bring about the greatest changes in myself.” –Emily Wills
“College has been the best four years of my life because of the MVs. This organization has led me to be the person I am today, and I will never forget the memories I’ve made, the people I’ve met, and the smiles I’ve seen.” –Alex McDonald
“As a leader, it makes me so happy to watch my managers achieve amazing things and be amazing people. I love every game, every practice, and every moment.” –Kelly Guthrie
“It was such an honor to be under the direction of Dave McKee for 3 of my 4 years in the MVs. He inspired me every day to be positive. Dr. Polly is one of the nicest, funniest, and most caring band directors I have ever had. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for the MVs in the future.” –May Wong
“Being in the MVs is like being in a large family. There are some days when friends may get under your skin, but you know at the end of the day that we are all a big family.” –Robert Krantz
“I am so incredibly glad I auditioned for the MVs and am continuously thankful for the program, its values, and what it stands for. I believe the MVs have a really special place on campus, and I'm really glad I was able to be one out of 330.” –Brooke Martin
On behalf of the graduating senior class, we want to share our final thank you to all our directors, our friends and family, and the school for providing us this experience. Whether we have marched for one year or five years, this organization has brought every single one of us a remarkable family and moments that we’ll hold onto for a lifetime, long after we’ve graduated from Virginia Tech.