The Thirteenth International Conference on Basement Tectonics was held on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia from June 2 -6, 1997. The oral presentations and discussions over three days covered a wide range of topics, and provided the international audience with a perspective on scientific efforts underway around the world. The conference participants were able to attend two separate field trips: (I) a pre-conference trip guided by Professor Robert Hatcher of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, examined the Basement rocks in the North Carolina -Tennessee region of the Appalachian Mountains, and (2) a mid-conference field trip guided by A.K. Sinha, convener of the conference, allowed participants to examine the complex rock associations and structures of the> 1000 m.y. old basement rocks in Virginia. Both the field trip guidebooks and abstract volumes were published for the conference. The meeting brought together scientists from more than 14 countries. Their participation, and the fiscal success of the meeting would not have been possible without the support of the Department of Geological Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences (VPI&SU) and the Basement Tectonics Association. Their support is gratefully acknowledged. As Chairman of the Organizing Committee, I would like to thank Margie Sentelle, Jay Thomas, Peter Welch, and Barry Robinson for the smooth operation of the conference.