Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, better known as
Virginia Tech, at Blacksburg; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered and opened 1872 as an agricultural and mechanical college. In 1896 it became Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute. In 1944 its name was shortened to Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and in 1970 its present name was adopted. A women's division at Radford (Radford College, opened 1913 as a state normal school, later a state teachers college) was consolidated with the institute in 1944. The university maintains research centers in industrial relations, the environment and hazardous waste materials, water resources, and child development, as well as numerous agricultural research stations throughout the state. It is Virginia's largest university.