LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Nikki Giovanni's words enabled me, the parent of a member of the Hokie Nation, to move forward after the April 16 tragedy. The signs around campus recounting her words, "We will prevail," gave me strength to move about the desolate campus that, in prior visits, was full of life, joy, youthfulness, and caring. Now as we continue to heal, Giovanni gives us the "Sheer Good Fortune" event. With this thoughtful act of kindness, she raises the names of queens of literature and truth and shares her love for them with us. She is a blessing and it is our sheer good fortune to be in her midst.
I'd like to sing the praises of Will Hancock (mechanical engineering '92). My family was stuck at a gas station near Charleston, W.Va., after having a minor wreck in Dayton, Ohio, coming through a blizzard on our way home to North Carolina. Within minutes of me raising the hood on our Pathfinder, Will walked by, noticed my VT hat, and asked if we needed help. He took me to two garages and a rental car office then went back to check on my wife and daughters. His kindness and attention literally saved the day. It speaks to a bond that I think all Hokies feel, especially following the April 16 tragedy. We never spoke of it, nor did we have to. With a nod to Professor Nikki Giovanni, the Hokie Nation prevails. I hope to live up to Will's example myself.
Jeffrey Shu (English ’89)
Reading other letters of lost class rings brought to mind my own. Unlike most others, though, I know where mine is. In 1966, I was a first lieutenant being ferried in a Huey chopper a couple of miles offshore and parallel to the Vietnam coast. Catastrophic engine failure forced a crash-landing at sea that resulted in casualties. I led the surviving passengers who didn't have flotation gear in a harrowing swim to shore through choppy, wind-tossed seas. About 100 yards from shore, we encountered a terrific undertow. The deadly current sucked the socks off my feet, the watch off my wrist, and my class ring off my finger.
I would like to add that the Corps of Cadets stands today as the most cherished part of my life at Tech, on equal footing with the quality academic education. The benefits of the corps experience have been positive beyond measure in both my military service and civilian career, and I revere it.
Charles E. Payne (business administration ’62)
Virginia Beach, Va.