New website offers chance to win alumni trip
The Virginia Tech Alumni Association has launched a new website, www.VaTechAlumni.com, with many new features, including the opportunity to register for a free alumni tour for two to Provence, France, in August. The drawing will be held May 1. The new site lists alumni association services and programs, Virginia Tech news, and Hokie sports, as well as national news, business news, stock quotes, a shopping village, chat rooms, and a Virginia Tech e-mail directory.
Forty-seven years ago, in 1953, Irving Peddrew enrolled as Virginia Tech's first black student. Admission was the easiest step on a long, difficult road for the only student of his race among 3,000 undergraduates.
As the number of black alumni has increased, so has their desire to stay involved with the university. Last spring's Black Alumni Reunion attracted more than 100 participants; in January, a special pre-Sugar Bowl gathering for black alumni drew 150 alumni and guests.
The reunion on campus in March 1999 not only gave alumni a chance to renew old friendships through receptions and organization reunions, it also allowed them to connect with current black students. "The room was filled with role models," says Jamaal Jamison (business management and marketing '00), who participated in an alumni/student networking luncheon and has kept in touch with his alumni mentor. Jamison's contact with the alumni cemented his pride in Tech and gave him confidence about attaining his own goals, he says. Reunion attendees stressed the need for more black representation in alumni activities, an active alumni/student mentoring program, and stronger links between black alumni and students.
Calvin Jamison (physical education '77, M.A., Ed.D.), now city manager for Richmond, Va., called the January New Orleans gathering "the starting point for the creation of a black alumni organization." Organizer Basil Gooden (political science '87; Ph.D.) was overwhelmed by the response to the e-mail invitations he dispatched only a week before the Sugar Bowl. Attendees included Tech's incoming president, Charles Steger, as well as retiring President Paul Torgersen and Vice President for Multicultural Affairs Ben Dixon.
In February, Kelly Mason (English M.A. '93) was appointed by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, in conjunction with the admissions and alumni relations offices, to serve as the assistant director of undergraduate admissions and coordinator of black alumni programs. Mason will collaborate with the alumni association staff to organize the volunteer leadership and programs of a Virginia Tech Black Alumni Organization, as well as assisting black student groups with alumni programs. Vice President for Alumni Relations Tom Tillar characterized Mason's position as a critical step in encouraging Tech's black alumni to help the university attract and serve black students who will become active alumni in the future.
Summer Around the Drillfield; June 28-July 2
Make plans to join fellow Virginia Tech alumni, family, and friends at the 11th annual Summer Around the Drillfield on the Tech campus. Activities including canoeing, tubing, and a day at Mountain Lake, as well as recreational activities, crafts, picnics, lectures, and tours.
For more information, please contact the alumni association at 540/231-6285.
Is 2000 a reunion year for you? Whether it has been five years or 50, join the alumni association as we celebrate the following five-year reunions. Rekindle friendships, make new friends, and get reacquainted with Tech.
Schedule may be altered. Reunion information can be accessed on-line at www.VaTechAlumni.com.