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More altruistic alumni
I enjoyed your article about the donation of kidneys by alumni of Virginia Tech (winter 2003, "Altruistic Hokies"). Many years before his death in 1998, my husband (Robert Ripley Lemon '50) donated his body to the Virginia state anatomical program. I have also donated my body to be used in the same way. [Robert] felt that giving his body would be of help to many and also a help to the medical community for research. He learned that many parts of his body would be given to others in need, and bones and skin can also be used as grafts. [Years ago,] Robert and I learned that a 13-year-old child who had his thigh bone crushed in an accident had a bone graft which meant that he would be able to walk again. This is what led to our donating our bodies for others to have as happy a life as we have had.

I thought you would like to know about this form of giving to help those in need. Your article was a blessing to me to know others care as much as we do.

Mary Frances Y. Lemon
Lynchburg, Va.

Your recent story in Virginia Tech Magazine entitled "Altruistic Hokies: Making a motto meaningful" got me thinking about all of the students who had a deep faith life that I met during my years at Tech. Perhaps a story could be written about people who have gone on to work in the church. My involvement in various organizations at Tech led me to eventually leaving my engineering job to become the director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Keep up the good work!

Kevin Bohli '94
Springfield, Va.

It is a small world
While working with a development partner last October in Blumenau, a town of 100,000 in southern Brazil, I heard a familiar voice at the small charascaria where we went for lunch. It was the first time I had heard English spoken in public there. It happened to be the Thursday of the Boston College [football] game, so I had my VT shirt on. I stopped by on my way out to say hello and ask where he was from. He said that he was from Virginia Tech. Probably the only two Americans in Blumenau (5,000 miles from Blacksburg) that day, and we were both Hokies!

Cal Gray '70
Houston, Texas

Contribution to Hokie history
I really enjoyed reading about the history of the Hokie Bird (fall 2002 issue, "A look at life behind the beak"). As a kid growing up in Blacksburg many years ago, I distinctly remember the long-necked version of the mascot. I was disappointed that one important piece of information was left out of your article. George Wills, a local Blacksburg artist, was solely responsible for the Hokie Bird emblem as we all know it today. I believe the Virginia Tech Athletic Department hired George in 1986 to create a new emblem after realizing they needed a "new look" for the future. After many creative strokes of the pencil, the latest Hokie Bird is born the rest is history. Who would have ever thought (George included) that one of the most recognizable and valuable trademarks in the state of Virginia had been created!

Tim Ligon '82
Matthews, NC

Editor's note:
The emblem Mr. Ligon is referring to is the "cartoon" version of the HokieBird logo [left], not the silhouette version [right].