Matthew J. La Porte loved playing music and relished the various challenges he faced as a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.
Born on Nov. 20, 1986, Matt was the son of Joseph and Barbara La Porte of Dumont, N.J. He had one sister, Priscilla, who graduated from high school in spring 2007. Matt was a sophomore studying for a degree in political science.
Matt attended Carson Long Military Institute in New Bloomfield, Pa., from seventh grade through 12th. As a student there he excelled in academics and leadership and served as drum major of the cadet band. He decided to attend Virginia Tech based on the recommendation of a trusted teacher and mentor on the faculty there.
As a member of the corps of cadets, he enjoyed playing tenor drum for the Regimental Band, the Highty-Tighties. His musical expertise led to his selection as a member of the Southern Colonels, the cadet jazz band. Matt was also a Fire Team leader in his company with daily responsibilities for four other cadets.
Matt was attending college on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and was working to earn a commission in the United States Air Force. His goal was to be an intelligence officer once on active duty.
He was a bright student, and he consistently scored high marks on his physical fitness tests; peers admired his strength and stamina. He demonstrated his enthusiasm for physical fitness by joining the Air Force Special Operations Preparation Team and participating in a rigorous physical training regimen.
Considerate and mature, Matt was a cadet with unlimited potential who loved a challenge. He was working hard to prepare for Air Force ROTC summer field training, a 28-day leadership evaluation.
His family and friends, as well as the faculty and staff at both Carson Long and Virginia Tech, mourn his passing.
Hometown: Dumont, New Jersey
Sophomore, University Studies
Student since fall 2005
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, French/Department of Foreign Languages and Literature