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December 10, 2010

Supporting Virgina Tech Athletics Since 1949

By: Brian Thornburg

The Student-Athlete Experience

Taking on a new season with a brand new facility

The Virginia Tech wrestling squad is reaping the benefits of the new practice facility above the football locker room and lounge. The Hokies have reeled in another top-notch recruiting class and the new workout area and training area have helped them skyrocket into the top 10 in the national polls.

“Thank you for allowing me to take part in an experience of a lifetime. I will never forget my time in Blacksburg.”
David Marone, r-Junior - Wrestling

“Being a Hokie is an honor. As a wrestler, I am very thankful for everything the Hokie Club has provided and it has made my experience here at Virginia Tech incredible!”
Jesse Dong, Junior - Wrestling

Donor File

Kelly Woolwine (donor) is pictured with his niece, Tiffany Woolwine, a current High Tech.

Kelly Woolwine

Current Hokie Club level: Hokie Benefactor

Hokie Club member since: 1997

Currently resides: Roanoke, Va.

What year did you graduate? 1990

Being a member of the Hokie Club and supporting Virginia Tech athletics is important to me …
I have been going to Virginia Tech football games since I was too young to remember. During most of those early years Virginia Tech was not a name that was ever part of the discussions concerning the national landscape of college football and the powers that be. It has been very exciting to see Virginia Tech earn its way into that fraternity, and I am honored to be a part of it. More importantly, though, I have seen the way growth and success in the football program has contributed to the overall growth and success of the university. Admissions are up every year, and the campus is changing in positive ways all the time and I want to continue to support that growth.

What makes Roanoke, Va., such a great community for the Hokies?
Because we’re so close to the football stadium, of course! But also, the bigger schools overlook many of the athletes who come to Virginia Tech. But then, many of the athletes have never thought of going anywhere else but Virginia Tech. Roanoke is much the same. We are not known of nationally, but once you are here, you never want to leave. Those of us raised here would never dream of going anywhere else.

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?
As a born and raised football fan, I always appreciated having such a great college football venue so close to home and have been going to games there since I was 2 or 3. I don’t think I really appreciated what Virginia Tech was all about and understood just what it means to be a Hokie until I became a student. Even more so, after I graduated, having lived in other parts of the country, I realize how great it is to be part of the Hokie Nation. We are everywhere and always support each other. At no point, however, have I been more proud to be a Hokie than I was in days, weeks and months following the April, 2007 shootings. When faced with the worst possible adversity, Virginia Tech, its fans, followers and families bonded together and showed strength, dignity, pride and optimism. I was so proud.

Do you have any game day or tailgating traditions or superstitions? If so, what are they?
I am not a very superstitious person, but I suspect it would be very bad luck not to tailgate before a game. Tailgating is a time for me, my friends and family to gather and have fun. My parents showed me from the very start that football, family and friends go hand in hand, and I plan to carry on the tradition of attending Virginia Tech football games with my friends and family till the day I die.

When you drive into Blacksburg, Va., for a game, are there any “must do” things for you and your family?
Our only rules are never miss kickoff and never leave a game early. Other than that, I would implore anyone who comes to the games and has not done so to take the extra time to explore the campus. Virginia Tech in the fall is as gorgeous as anywhere in the world.

Over the past decade, Virginia Tech athletics has undertaken tremendous facilities growth and renovations. Do you have a favorite project? Why?
I enjoy seeing all the sports programs at Virginia Tech enhancing their resources and facilities and hope to help it continue. I am most excited about the new facility that houses the new football locker room. These facilities are VERY impressive and I know that new recruits will be impressed.

Looking forward at the upcoming 2010-11 academic year, what athletics event or game are you looking forward to the most and why?
Every home basketball game and football game are exciting for me because my niece is a High Tech and I get to see her dance.

My all-time favorite Virginia Tech football player is (player’s name) and my favorite memory of (player’s name) is …
I have many favorite Tech football players over the years. I was a big Cyrus Lawrence fan, and of course, a huge fan of Michael Vick. Lee Suggs was a favorite of mine being a Roanoke boy. Corey Moore was one of the most exciting defensive players to watch, and the list is too long to continue. But if I had to pick one, I would have to say Bryan Randall. He was always underestimated. He seemed to have to work his rear end off to prove himself and earn his way. He wanted to win so badly that the whole team and all the fans could feed on it. No one saw him coming, but we all missed him when he was gone.

My all-time favorite Virginia Tech student-athlete from another sport is (player’s name) and my favorite memory of (player’s name) is …
Johnny Oates. Like Bryan Randall, he was a hard-working overachiever who succeeded by doing what he loved. He joked in a 2003 interview that he wasn’t sure how he got to the big leagues “because I wasn’t that good.” His first Major League at-bat was in 1981 with the New York Yankees … my favorite team.

Interesting fact …
Did you know that a Hokie caught 4 passes for 59 yards in the first Super Bowl ever?

Hokie Club Year End Items of Importance

Benefits Deadline: December 31, 2010
Because of the university's holiday schedule and the bowl game schedule, please make every effort to speak with the Hokie Club staff or visit with our office now. Checks must be postmarked by December 31, 2010 and online contributions must be made at by midnight, December 31, 2010. Please contact the Hokie Club Office at (540) 231-6618 if you have any questions.

In order to retain your current season tickets for football, men's basketball, and women's basketball; you must be a Hokie Club member, your membership must be ACTIVE on the Benefits Deadline (December 31), and you must maintain the giving level at which your season tickets were assigned. If your membership is INACTIVE or DOWNGRADED on the Benefits Deadline, your current season ticket location will be moved. This policy was implemented during the reseating of Cassell Coliseum (2004) and Lane Stadium (2005).

Hokie Matic and Employee Payroll Deduction
November 30, 2010 was the last day to set up or upgrade your membership using either Hokie Matic or Employee Payroll Deduction to qualify for privileges to be awarded before the Benefits Deadline of December 31, 2010. At this point, any new Hokie Matic and employee payroll deduction forms will take effect in 2011. To make any changes to an existing Hokie Matic, please submit a new form indicating the updated information. Forms can be found on the forms page at

Year End Gift Accounting
As we approach year end and enter 2011, the amount of gifts received by the Hokie Club typically increase. Because of the added volume of gifts, the amount of time it takes to mail out a gift acknowledgement may increase as well. Our gift accounting staff is working diligently to process and acknowledge all gifts in a timely manner and we thank you for your patience.

Virginia Tech Athletic Fund Gift Acknowledgements
Once a gift is received by the Hokie Club, donors receive a gift acknowledgement letter or receipt. This letter is usually mailed within one to two weeks after the donation is made, and serves as your VTAF tax receipt. If you have questions about this gift acknowledgement letter, please contact the Hokie Club at (540) 231-6618.

Updated Point Priority Sheets to be mailed in late January 2010
Once all 2010 gifts are received, processed and acknowledged, the Hokie Club will send out updated point priority sheets to each member. We anticipate that these updated point priority sheets will be mailed to the entire Hokie Club membership in late January 2011.

Matching Gift Information
Matching gifts from your employer are encouraged. Please carefully review your company’s literature to determine if athletic gifts can be matched. If you submit a matching gift form, it is your responsibility to follow up with your company to make sure the gift has been matched – it could affect your club level. The matching amount will not be included in your point total until it is received.