Rob Wallace ’00 and Walter Barnes ’00 first met the summer before their freshman year at Virginia Tech, in 1996. Ask them to tell you how, and they both laugh.
“He used to rollerblade,” Barnes says.
“I still rollerblade,” Wallace interjects. “I went rollerblading last night.”
“He still rollerblades,” Barnes says, laughing. “Which I thought was very odd.”
That first summer, the pair adjusted together to college life early through a summer program called ASPIRE, now called Student Transition Engineering Program, run by the College of Engineering’s Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity. They began to get to know each other over games of basketball and rounds of golf.
Within their first week of friendship, the pair were making plans together on future entrepreneurial ventures. Both of them wanted to own their own companies some day and both strongly believed in the same goals: “to be successful, bless God’s kingdom, and help people,” Wallace explained.
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