Virginia Tech Magazine
Alumni Association
Fall 2009

Alumni Association Annual Report 2008-09
Supporting students . Celebrating faculty . Engaging leadership
Serving alumni . Embracing the community

STUDENT PROGRAMS BUILD ON TRADITIONS . Student Programs complement the mission of Alumni Relations by helping instill a sense of loyalty and pride in students who will soon become members of the Alumni Association. In addition, the Student Alumni Associates (SAA) and the class system are two active and respected programs that foster traditions designed to create a bond between students and the university. Last year, SAA recruited 43 new members, one of the largest groups in many years. The Class of 2010 had record attendance at Ring Dance in the spring, and class leaders continued to encourage class spirit and affinity with Virginia Tech. During the spring semester, the Alumni Association offered a speaker series to address issues that seniors would face after graduation.

ALUMNI CHAPTERS CONNECT WITH STUDENTS . Chapters and clubs foster strong student-alumni relationships through programs that bolster their lifelong loyalty to Virginia Tech. Many alumni chapters hosted annual student send-off events for current and incoming students and stayed in touch with their students throughout the year by inviting them to tailgates, providing care packages during exam time, and inviting them to other events, such as holiday parties. Alumni chapters also provided assistance in recruiting students.

CHAPTERS RAISING SCHOLARSHIPS . Alumni chapters raise thousands of dollars to help students from their respective areas. Scholarships not only provide financial assistance to outstanding students, but they also lead to local exposure for the chapter and university within communities. In 2008-09, 57 alumni chapters awarded 156 freshman scholarships totaling $175,550. In addition, the association created an endowment, now totaling more than $1.5 million, that provides annual scholarship support for students.

HONORING THE BEST . The association recognizes Virginia Tech's top teachers with its Faculty Excellence Awards for teaching, advising, outreach, Extension service, research, and international outreach, research, and education. A total of 19 faculty members were honored in 2008-09 with stipends of $2,000 each. An endowment was created by the association in 1972 to provide support for the first named professorships. The Alumni Distinguished Professorship appointments, which provide annual salary supplements, currently support 10 outstanding professors.

Alumni Association Annual Report 2008-09

FACULTY FEATURED IN ALUMNI PROGRAMMING . The university has many dynamic and entertaining professors who regularly visit alumni chapters. Last year, Tech faculty members provided presentations that demonstrated the breadth of innovative teaching and research underway at Virginia Tech. In addition, faculty members and university administrators were featured at reunions, constituency events, and other special occasions.

ALUMNI ADVOCACY EVENTS . The legislative advocacy group supporting higher education and state General Fund appropriations for Virginia Tech provides vocal backing on issues of importance to Virginia Tech and higher education and cultivates support among elected officials. During advocacy events, the group hosted a breakfast for alumni members of the General Assembly. The 11th annual Hokie Day at the General Assembly, which included a visit to the state capitol by alumni chapter and student representatives, was also a success.

ALUMNI BOARD OF DIRECTORS . Twice a year, members of the Alumni Board of Directors convene to review Alumni Association programs, evaluate progress toward accomplishing the association's annual goals, make plans for strong financial and administrative management, and develop future initiatives and programs that support the goals of the university. The 30 board members, who were elected by Alumni Association members, have been active with the university in some capacity, such as serving as alumni chapter officers, student leaders, and/or representatives of academic colleges, constituencies, and multicultural interests.

ALUMNI TOURS . The Alumni Association sponsors group travel opportunities--often at substantial savings over the price of private tours--to exciting places worldwide. In 2008-09, 16 tours gave 109 Hokies the chance to visit places far and near, including a group of recent graduates who traveled on the 25-day Essential Europe tour.

ALUMNI AWARDS . Since 1972, the Alumni Association has honored almost 100 alumni with the prestigious Alumni Distinguished Service Award for their career achievements and their service to the association, Virginia Tech, and their communities. Each year, the association recognizes one alumnus/a with the Graduate Alumni Achievement Award and eight alumni, one from each college, with the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. Additionally, students from each college received the Outstanding Senior Award and three graduate students were honored with teaching and service awards. The Alumni Humanitarian Award is presented periodically to individuals who have had a profound impact on the lives of others.

Alumni Association Annual Report 2008-09

HOLTZMAN ALUMNI CENTER . Since 2005, the Holtzman Alumni Center has been a popular destination for alumni throughout the year, especially during busy fall reunion weekends and for such events as college programs. In the center, the Alumni Gallery provides space for receptions and events and features rotating art exhibits by alumni and local artists. The Alumni Museum displays memorabilia that illustrate the university's rich history. The Alumni Library has a collection of alumni and university publications, yearbooks, and works authored by alumni. The Alumni Relations staff offices are located on the top floor of the center. Last year, several events were held on the outdoor Alumni Terrace, including a reception for students, an open house during Homecoming weekend, a celebration for graduating seniors, and a wine festival sponsored by the New River Valley Alumni Chapter.

STAYING CONNECTED . Alumni can stay connected with each other and their alma mater through such resources as the Alumni Association online directory and the 2006 print directory. Several thousand alumni were early registrants in the new Hokie Nation Network. This free and private social/professional network is intended to help Hokies share information, learn about employment opportunities, and simply stay connected in a setting similar to Facebook and LinkedIn. The new network launched in April exclusively for Hokie alumni, students, and faculty and staff members.

CHAPTER OFFICERS LEADERSHIP FORUM . The annual Chapter Officers Leadership Forum provides an opportunity for alumni chapter volunteers to return to campus for special workshops, updates on the Alumni Association and the university, and general information sharing. Approximately 140 participants from 46 alumni chapter areas attended the 2008 forum, which focused on networking and engaging alumni of all ages. Chapter officer training was held in January with 17 chapter volunteers, who concentrated on reaching out to different alumni populations, particularly young and multicultural alumni. Participants also shared and generated ideas on chapter programming and community service opportunities. Teleconferences were scheduled throughout the year. Some had specific topics and others were open forums.

REUNIONS and HOMECOMINGS . In fall 2008, the Alumni Association enjoyed a successful reunion season, with more than 2,400 alumni attending six class reunion weekends, seven college homecomings, a corps of cadets reunion, and a Graduate School homecoming. Young alumni and multicultural reunions were held in Charlotte, N.C., in conjunction with the Virginia Tech-East Carolina football game. The annual Old Guard Reunion, held in the spring, was attended by 190 members of the classes of 1935 through 1958. An additional 900 alumni and friends attended other special reunions throughout the year including the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad, Highty-Tighties, Omicron Delta Kappa, Greek organizations, and a reunion for former basketball players.

Alumni Association Annual Report 2008-09

SPECIAL ALUMNI PROGRAMS . Nearly 600 alumni and friends attended educational and entertaining programs last year, including Summer Around the Drillfield, the Valentines Weekend Escape to Italy, the Civil War Weekend, the Savor the Flavor wine event, and A Day in the Life of College Admissions.

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION SECTION of the VIRGINIA TECH MAGAZINE . Beginning in fall 2008, the Alma Mater, formerly published by the Alumni Association, was merged into the Virginia Tech Magazine to provide a more comprehensive Alumni Association section in each issue. Published four times a year, the magazine reflects the interests and intellectual vigor of the university and its alumni. The Alumni Association section of the magazine allows the association to communicate more frequently with alumni about its programs and services; to highlight alumni chapter activities, reunions, upcoming alumni programs, and other special events; and to introduce new Alumni Association initiatives.

SERVICE AT HOME and ABROAD . The Alumni Association introduced the Hokie Nation Serves initiative to inspire in all Hokies a commitment to service, especially during the month of April. The Hokie Nation bond fosters both a sense of spirit and a desire to live the university's motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). In the spring, 19 alumni, faculty and staff members, and students participated in a service trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic (co-sponsored with the College of Architecture and Urban Studies) to construct a playground for an elementary school.

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEERISM . Through their enthusiastic participation in Hokie Nation Serves and VT-ENGAGE, thousands of Hokies contributed their talent and time to deserving causes. Alumni chapters and clubs also made a difference in their communities by engaging in service projects. The Shenandoah Alumni Chapter, for example, constructed an 8,000–square–foot memorial garden for the victims of the April 16 tragedy. The area parks and recreation department donated space for the garden, which was completed with donated landscaping materials and dedicated in April 2009. Hokies in Cincinnati joined other local volunteers in March to pre-build walls for Habitat for Humanity, completing 132 walls for three houses. Fourteen chapters conducted blood drives throughout the spring, collecting a total of 615 pints. One of those was the Richmond Alumni Association Chapter, which has an ongoing competition with University of Virginia alumni to see who collects the most pints of blood through blood drives. The two alumni groups also participate in Hokies vs. Hoos, which plays upon the rivalry between the two universities to benefit Habitat for Humanity and the Central Virginia Food Bank. Both schools work closely to promote service in the spirit of competition and, of course, to claim bragging rights.

. Commentary

. University and Alumni Association awards

. Virginia Tech's international presence

. Hokie Nation serves

. Chapter awards

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