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Virginia Tech History Resources: Athletics

This guide details resources intended to help those doing research on the history of Virginia Tech, including the use of Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, and related resources.

About Athletics at Virginia Tech

While some sports were played in the early days of the College, the first formal effort to organize campus sports was in 1891 with the formation of the Athletic Association. In 1901, the president appointed a faculty committee to administer the expanding athletic program. Then, a reorganization plan entrusted control of athletics to three committees: an advisory council, executive committee, and a faculty committee on athletics. In 1904, the general manager position was created, along with an Athletic Council to control college athletics. The Athletic Council governed the body of athletics, and the Athletic Association was the operating organization and a non-stock corporation under state law until 1990. In 1990, Virginia Tech athletics were reorganized and put under the direct control of the university. The Association founded the student newspaper in 1903 and operated it as their official organ until the student body assumed control in 1931. The Association also owned and operated the College Bookstore from 1911 until 1968 when VPI Facilities, Inc., assumed control.

General Information

See also the Administration subpages as many of the collections listed may contain information related to the Athletics Association.

Online Histories, Exhibits, and Digitized Materials


These record groups contain official records, flyers, photographs, and more pertaining to the Virginia Cooperative Extension and affiliated organizations. The records are divided into assigned Record Groups designated by the prefix, RG. The Department of Athletics records are designated as RG 10/x, while Recreational Sports are in RG 8/8/1 and RG 17/5/x. RG 31/14/x and RG 31/15/x include related student groups and the Cheerleading Association.

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Land & Labor Acknowledgement

We thank the American Indian & Indigenous Community Center for providing this statement:

Virginia Tech acknowledges that we live and work on the Tutelo / Monacan People’s homeland and we recognize their continued relationships with their lands and waterways. We further acknowledge that legislation and practices like the Morrill Act (1862) enabled the commonwealth of Virginia to finance and found Virginia Tech through the forced removal of Native Nations from their lands, both locally and in western territories.

We understand that honoring Native Peoples without explicit material commitments falls short of our institutional responsibilities. Through sustained, transparent, and meaningful engagement with the Tutelo / Monacan Peoples, and other Native Nations, we commit to changing the trajectory of Virginia Tech's history by increasing Indigenous student, staff, and faculty recruitment and retention, diversifying course offerings, and meeting the growing needs of all Virginia tribes and supporting their sovereignty.

We must also recognize that enslaved Black people generated revenue and resources used to establish Virginia Tech and were prohibited from attending until 1953. Through InclusiveVT, the institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (that I may serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence, we commit to advancing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.