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August 17, 2010

Supporting Virgina Tech Athletics Since 1949

By: Brian Thornburg

The Student-Athlete Experience

It’s good to be homeThe Hokie football team is back in Blacksburg and preparing for the season opener against Boise State at FedExField on September 6.

“My Virginia Tech experience has been amazing. To go through the blood, sweat and tears with this team over the years has made us stronger and it has been special. Thanks for your support. The fans are what drives us.”

John Graves
r-Senior, Football

“I have six younger siblings so having a scholarship to play football at Virginia Tech has been a huge blessing. Thanks to the Hokie Club, my school is paid for and my family is thankful.”

Collin Carroll
r-Junior - Football

Donor Files

Dodd F. Harvey

Current Hokie Club Level:
Golden Hokie Champion

Currently Resides:
Lynchburg, Virginia

Family members:
Family- Sophia (wife, Virginia Tech ‘86) Megan (16), Lauren (12) and Charlie & Lucy (our two dogs)

Q: What year did you graduate?
A: I graduated in 1985.

Q: Why is being a member of the Hokie Club and supporting Virginia Tech athletics important to you?
A: I love my school and I am very proud to have graduated from Virginia Tech. With that said, athletics and academics go hand in hand. Going to a football game or basketball game provides my family and I with an opportunity to go back to the campus and see all of the latest renovations, updates and projects that are taking place at Virginia Tech. After spending a weekend in Blacksburg, it makes it very easy for me to contribute annually to the Hokie Club.

Q: What was your motivation to be involved in the local Lynchburg community by becoming involved with the Lynchburg Hokie Club?
A: I remember going to a Lynchburg Hokie Club event in the late 1980’s. John Moody was the speaker from Blacksburg. He was describing our athletics programs (during that time period, we were not very good in our major sports programs) and he said great things were to come (I believe he was right) and I bought into his speech. I talked to some of the local Lynchburg Hokie Club board members; Gene Montgomery, Jerry Smith and Sandra Brooks. I said I wanted to be involved and I have been serving on the board ever since.

Q: Do you have a specific moment when you realized that you were a fan of Virginia Tech athletics and knew without a doubt that you were a Hokie?
A: I was a high school senior and I made a road trip to Blacksburg to visit my neighbor, Bobby Schamerhorn, who was attending Virginia Tech. We went to a football game and the rest is history.

Q: Over the past decade, Virginia Tech athletics has undertaken tremendous facilities growth and renovations. Do you have a favorite project? Why?
A: My favorite project is the new Hahn Hurst Basketball Practice Center. I liked it so much that I made a major gift to this project. The women’s film/edit room is named on behalf of Dodd and Sophia Harvey.

Q: Do you have any game day or tailgating traditions or superstitions? If so, what are they?
A: My superstitions are simple. I will wear the same hat during the season for good luck, and over the past 17 years, it has been working pretty well.

Letter from Lu

Dear Hokie Club Members,

Summers here in Blacksburg seem to fly by so quickly for our staff because it is filled with plenty of activities, summer donor events, and even some relaxing vacation time. With August upon us, it symbolizes the start of a new academic year and the start of a new season for Virginia Tech Athletics.

We are very pleased that you are enjoying Inside Hokie Sports magazine as part of your Hokie Club membership. This season you will see a different look in the Hokie Club pages as we try to keep our pages fresh and interesting. You will notice a two page candid student-athlete feature each month that I hope you will enjoy. With the help of veteran photographer Dave Knachel, we will try to capture the student-athlete experience through his photography across our twenty one varsity sports. A special thanks goes to Dave for his great effort! You will also see more in-depth and tailored questions in our donor file section. We enjoy featuring Hokie Club members and their own Hokie traditions and wanted to continue with this interesting section. Finally, the Hokie Club pages will also feature more articles on fundraising results, new faculty projects and topics specifically related to the Hokie Club, as well as periodic updates from my desk as we try to keep you informed of the vast amount that is always going on here at the Hokie Club.

At our Summer Leadership meetings, I was pleased to report to the VTAF Board of Directors another successful year of fundraising results. $25 million was raised in support of Intercollegiate Athletics during 2009-10, an in increase of $1 million over 2008-09. This is particularly impressive given the stubbornness of the economy but I am not surprised by your contributions, because collectively, you have continually stepped up and provided the needed funding in the past.

Many of you have generously supported the new football locker room/players lounge/wrestling facility. The building will be occupied in September by the football and wrestling teams and they are extremely excited. This new building provides much needed additional space for both programs and it will definitely play a huge role in the recruiting processes for football and wresting.

Once football and wrestling have moved out of their current locker rooms, construction will begin to renovate these and other locker rooms for Tech’s Olympic Sports teams. This $1.8 million project that will provide larger, renovated locker rooms for the Olympic Sports teams as well as a new Olympic sports weight room and a large addition to the Sports Medicine facilities. We hope to be able to share more on this project with you in future editions.

As a Hokie Club member, you annual gift pays the scholarship bill and the expenses to operate the Hokie Club office. Tuition and fees will increase at the University this year, thus requiring more annual fund support to keep pace. We are very sensitive to the economy and the demands it places on our membership but as reported this summer, fortunately most of you have been able to maintain your annual giving level. Some Hokie Club members have upgraded your support and that is very much appreciated!

As we often say, the Annual fund, which is a Hokie Club annual donation between the amounts of $100 and $10,000, is the lifeblood of most athletic fund raising organizations and it is for our organization. There are several ways to grow the annual fund and adding new members is one of those. Help us find new members who can grow the annual fund with their gifts. This past year, every new Hokie Club member, regardless of giving level, who ordered season football tickets for the 2010 season, received them. This is a tremendous factoid to share with potential members, whether they are recent graduates, friends from work or fellow Hokie alumni that want to get involved.

We look forward to welcoming you to campus this fall and we are excited to showcase the hard work and dedication that our student-athletes have been displaying on the practice field. Please plan to join me cheering on the Hokies in the stands.

Go Hokies!