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Eleanor Verburg

Eleanor Verburg

Two days ago, you may have noticed a distinct difference in the attire worn by members of the Corps of Cadets. For the first time, cadets were seen around campus in nice denim jeans and their VTCC T-shirts as their uniform of the day. It was to show support for Denim Day, an international day of awareness of sexual violence and support for survivors of sexual assault.

Recognized by military service academies previously, but never by Virginia Tech's Corps of Cadets until this year, the show of support was driven by Eleanor Verburg. Through the Corps of Cadets and Housing and Residence Life, Eleanor worked with a team to spearhead Denim Day, including extensive training plans focused on defining terms, bringing in the bystander, and explaining the Clery Act.

Her nominator wrote, “Eleanor has shown initiative and worked hard to bring Denim Day to the VTCC. This initiative is important because sexual assault was a large concern for students, cadets included, during the fall semester. Eleanor’s response was to spread awareness and have the Corps present a united front against such violence.”

Eleanor said, “Courageous leadership is standing up for what you believe even if it is not popular opinion. It means pushing yourself and influencing those around you to do better.”

As a Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets RA, Eleanor holds a dual leadership position -- half RA and half Corps leadership. This spring, Eleanor stepped up into a senior RA position and became the 1st Battalion CO, making her the highest-ranking cadet serving in 1st Battalion.

Her nominator wrote, “Eleanor always displays a bright and positive attitude and it has been awesome to see her grow into the amazing leader that she is. She was always a great RA, but her supervisors can see that she is in her true element for the spring semester.”

A member of the Corps of Cadets and Air Force ROTC, Eleanor is a senior majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a minor in Leadership. She is the recipient of the Emerging Leader Scholarship. Upon graduating next December, Eleanor will commission into the US Air Force.

Eleanor said, “I have learned to have confidence in myself and know that if you stay focused, positive, and ask for help when you need it, you can do anything. Jump at every opportunity, stretch your boundaries, don’t limit yourself. You have the opportunity each day to be better than the day before.”

It is a great honor to present the Aspire! Award for PREPARE FOR A LIFE OF COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP to Cadet Eleanor Verburg.