A decade of excellence calls for celebration, and the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP community did just that during a two-day celebration on the Blacksburg Campus. The event, held on October 20th and 21st, brought together IGC alumni, current IGC Fellows, faculty, postdocs, and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and envision a promising future.

Friday Events: A Day of Reunion and Learning

The celebration kicked off on Friday with an Alumni Brunch with the Dean of Graduate School, Aimée Surprenant. This was a unique opportunity for our alumni to discuss the value of interdisciplinary education and share their journey since graduation with leadership at the Virginia Tech Graduate School. 

IGC IGEP Alumni with Dean Aimee S.
IGC IGEP alumni connect with Aimée Surprenant, the Dean of the Graduate School.

Following the brunch, participants engaged in a Leadership Workshop focused on Emotional Intelligence and Vulnerability. This insightful session was led by experts from UVA's Institute for Engagement & Negotiation, providing valuable lessons on leadership and teamwork for both current IGC students and alumni.

One of the highlights of the day was the IGC Alumni Q&A panel, where experienced alumni shared their insights on work-life balance, career progression, and more. The day wrapped up with a lively Networking Event, fostering connections and friendships among participants.

Workshop on Leadership
Current IGC Fellows and IGC Alumni join together for a workshop on emotional intelligence and vulnerability.
small group discussion work
Workshop attendees break into small groups for discussion.
Bill Hopkins moderates an alumni Q&A panel on work life balance.
Bill Hopkins, IGC director, moderates an alumni Q&A panel on work life balance.
Alumni of the IGC program mingle with IGC Fellows following the panel.
Alumni of the IGC program mingle with IGC Fellows following the panel.


Saturday: A Journey into Nature and Friendship

On Saturday, the group embarked on a Group Hike to Bald Knob, offering a breathtaking view of the fall foliage at Mountain Lake. This refreshing outdoor activity brought participants closer to nature and provided a perfect backdrop for memorable photos and bonding.

Bald Knob hike group shot
IGC Fellows and alumni hike to Bald Knob to enjoy the fall colors.

A Night to Remember: 10-Year Anniversary Celebration Dinner

The grand finale of the weekend was the 10-Year Celebration Dinner, hosted at the Holtzman Alumni Center. This was a gathering of alumni, current students, faculty, and postdocs, to come together and share the joy of a decade's success. The evening was filled with laughter, camaraderie, and appreciation for the IGC IGEP community.

Dinner, drinks, and live music by Laura Beth and Clover Hollow set the tone for a joyous celebration. Following dinner remarks from Interfaces of Global Change director Bill Hopkins, past Dean of the Graduate School Karen DePauw, and the current Dean of the Graduate School Aimée Surprenant reflected on the journey of IGC IGEP over the years and its promising future.

With appearances by at least fifteen alumni throughout the two day event, the gathering brought together alumni with current students, and was a celebration of the past but also a testament to the strength of the IGC IGEP community and its potential for the future.

The IGC IGEP 10-Year Anniversary Celebration weekend was a celebration of the resilience, collaboration, and dedication of this unique interdisciplinary program. As we look back on a decade of achievements, we're excited to see what the next ten years will bring. Thank you to everyone who joined us in this celebration, and here's to a bright future for the IGC IGEP.

Group of people chatting
IGC dinner celebration