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August 17, 2011

Supporting Virgina Tech Athletics Since 1949

By: Brian Thornburg

Kicking off another season of Hokie Sports

The women’s soccer team opened the 2011-12 Virginia Tech athletics season with an exhibition game against East Carolina on August 12 and will play the first regular-season game of the fall on the 19th. This year’s seniors have an opportunity to become the winningest class ever in the program and the first to finish all four seasons with a berth in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championships.

The student-athlete experience

“I would like to thank all of the Hokie Club members that have helped pave the way for me to have the opportunity to step on the soccer field and represent Virginia Tech. So far it has been a great experience, and I look forward to my remaining year at Virginia Tech.” Jeremy Williams | Senior, Men's Soccer

“Thank you so much for giving me this incredible opportunity to play at the collegiate level and to be a member of the student-athlete organization here at Virginia Tech. It has truly been a memorable and growing experience over the years!” Brittany Michels | Senior, Women's Soccer

Donor File | Dennis Michael Semones

Name: Dennis Michael Semones

Hokie Club Level: Hokie Century Champion

Hokie Club member since: 1979

Currently Resides: Christiansburg, VA

What year did you graduate? 1967

Family: Wife – Betty; Son – Michael; Son – Mitchell; Son – Brandon

Q: A Hokie is …

A: A TRUE Virginia Tech fan.

Q: The Hokie Nation is real because…

A: I believe that Virginia Tech relates to the students, faculty, and alumni as family. Virginia Tech truly places the interest of the student-athletes at the forefront.

Q: What is your best memory of Virginia Tech athletics?

A: My treasured memories are primarily of the relationships among the football players that we developed as student-athletes and the ones that we continue to develop 40 some years later.

Q: How did you get involved with the Hokie Club?

A: We became donors of the Hokie Club to give back to Virginia Tech a portion of what Virginia Tech gave to us. I probably would not have attended college without the scholarship that was granted to me by Coach Jerry Claiborne. We want Virginia Tech to be a winning program in all aspects of athletics; but, the ultimate goal is for each athlete to earn his or her diploma. I believe that all of the administrators, coaches, and support staff try to instill the importance of an education to the Virginia Tech athletes.

Q: What caused you to become a fan of Virginia Tech?

A: I have been a Virginia Tech fan since I was a young boy and could not believe that I was really going to play football for Virginia Tech!

Q: Do you have any game day superstitions? If so, what are they?

A: I do not.

Q: Describe your perfect day at Virginia Tech.

A: A perfect day at Virginia Tech begins with breakfast with our Virginia Tech friends. We then get together for a pregame tailgate with wonderful food and drink. The weather is perfect and we enjoy our time together as we get excited for the “Hokie Victory.” Virginia Tech plays a perfect game and beats Virginia. We then celebrate with a postgame tailgate and finish the day with GREAT MEMORIES!!

Q: What motivates you to give back to help Virginia Tech athletics?

A: I am a very good example of what a scholarship means to an individual athlete. As stated earlier, I would not have gone to college without the scholarship to Virginia Tech. I received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech. I have had a very successful career in education. Betty and I are donating a scholarship in appreciation for the scholarship that I received because it has added so much to my life. I would encourage everyone to donate to the Virginia Tech Athletic Hokie Club and support the funding of scholarships to our athletes.

Q: I’m a Hokie Club member because…

A: I love Virginia Tech athletics and Virginia Tech.

Q: My favorite Virginia Tech sports are….

A: Football and basketball.

Q: My all-time favorite Virginia Tech football player is …

A: Our son - Brandon Semones – What very special memories of Brandon playing for his uncle Frank and with our nephew, Shane.

Q: My all-time favorite Virginia Tech student-athlete from another sport is …

A: Deron Washington

Letter from Lu

Welcome Back! Did your summer fly by as quickly as mine did? The students are back on campus and the energy in Blacksburg is electric as a new academic year is underway.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your financial support in the 2010-11 fiscal year. We saw growth in the Endowment Fund, which combined with the Annual Fund, pays the scholarship bill. In the new fiscal year that began July 1, we have been asked to increase our support as tuition, fees, and room and board have grown by over $700,000. You have responded well in the past and now more than ever we need your increased annual fund gifts.

For the past eight years, we have all been focusing on the Campaign for Virginia Tech-Invent the Future. Thousands of alumni and friends of the university have attended regional campaign meetings and have participated in the effort to meet the announced goal of 1 billion dollars. The campaign has now concluded and the official results will be announced this fall. I do want to thank each and every one of you who have supported the athletics portion of the Campaign and helped us to exceed our goals in support of the endowment, capital projects and annual operating needs. I don’t know the final tally so I will look forward to the big announcement in November with great anticipation.

Soon, you will receive a brochure outlining the details for next spring’s reseating of Lane Stadium. A committee has been meeting since March to draft the plan and outline for you the specific steps in the reseating process. Look for more information in these pages as we move toward 2012. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible going into the process. We are excited to introduce an online seat selection software product. It has been used by other university and professional teams in their seat selection process, and we are confident that our fans will embrace it as well. You will also receive a second brochure that introduces you to the online process and walks you through the selection of your seats. Every Hokie Club member and season ticket holder will have the opportunity to select his or her own seat.

This fall, the athletics department will announce a campaign to raise funding for a new indoor field house. This facility will be located east of the current practice fields and will allow our football program and many of our Olympic sport teams the opportunity to train and practice during inclement weather. Our current indoor facility, Rector Field House, will be turned over to our nationally ranked track & field program on a full-time basis to allow those athletes full access to train and compete. The Hokies have hosted the ACC Indoor Championships in Rector Field House in recent years and are once again scheduled to host the 2012 ACC Indoor Championships. We will be providing more details on the new field house facility once architectural drawings are complete. We are excited about the opportunities the new indoor field house facility will offer to our student-athletes.

The opening of football season is days away and we look forward to seeing you in Blacksburg and Lane Stadium. We are grateful for your past support for our athletics program and will need your help as we prepare to meet the increasing costs of educating our student-athletes. Please join me by increasing your gift this year. I think it is an excellent investment in the future of this university and its athletics programs. It’s a great time to be a Hokie in the Atlantic Coast Conference!

Go Hokies!