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Video: Students embody Ut Prosim to carry friend on hike

In the fall of 2012, Scinju Gadamsetty of Fairfax, Va., a senior in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics and a member of the Corps of Cadets, decided that his friend Justin Graves needed to see the Cascade Falls – a hike that is a Hokie tradition. However, the hike seemed impossible to Graves, a paraplegic who has been reliant on a wheelchair since age 3. “I figured it’s just something that would be on my Bucket List, never to really ever come off of it. I’ve seen pictures, and that was good enough for me,” he said.

A 2012 graduate of sociology and now first-year master's student in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Graves has been called "The Ultimate Hokie" because of his passion for Virginia Tech. Gadamsetty thought that the ultimate Hokie needed to see the waterfall at the Cascades in nearby Giles County, Va. So in the spirit of Virginia Tech's motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Gadamsetty rounded up a group of Hokies to take Graves to the falls.

More than a dozen Hokies joined in the quest taking turns carrying Graves by either a makeshift stretcher that Graves could sit upon, or by back. To ensure that Graves captured the full extent of the hike, the student group opted to take him along a more difficult, steep climb.

“The hike went great,” Graves would write the next day on his personal blog. “I was so proud, as I got to enjoy the beautiful scenery of this 2 mile (one-way) hike, that I had friends that were willing to not only take a TON of time out of their day … but to give me their bodies and energy to get me to the top of a mountain. How much more Ut Prosim can you get then carrying a man to the top of a mountain? I am so thankful, grateful, and honored to be friends with some of the best Hokies in the world.”

See photos of Justin’s hike to the Cascades.

Read Justin’s blog entry on the hike and the meaning of Ut Prosim.