Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech Magazine


Summer  FEATURE  2010
When Hokie charm hooks a family, the results passed down from generation to generation can be impressive.
Go HERE to submit photos of your Hokies.
Whitney Anderson and family

MY STORY: We have two generations of Hokies in my family, with six of us who are alumni and three who have been members of the Hokie Club, the Orange & Maroon Club, and, finally, the Golden Hokies for many, many years. My dad, Gary Saunders (architecture '74), my mom, Mary Jane Saunders (childhood development '73), and my uncle, Danny Saunders (civil engineering '73), all attended at the same time; and my parents met while attending Virginia Tech. Later, my cousin, Bryan Saunders (electrical engineering '98), his wife, Jaclyn Saunders (engineering '99), and I--Whitney Anderson (international relations '99)--all attended at the same time. And it doesn't stop there; we have many more Hokies by association in the family! Pictured is a partial group of us at the big win against Florida State in 2007. GO, HOKIES!

Kim Arris-Potter and family

MY STORY: My husband graduated from Virginia Tech in 1979, and I graduated in 1984. Even though we were not there at the same time, we both fell in love with Virginia Tech and share our enthusiasm with the Hokie Nation with pretty much everyone we know. We have had season tickets to the football games for years; in fact, our oldest daughter's first Virginia Tech football game was when she was six weeks old! Our other daughter's first Virginia Tech football game was when she was six months old.

Our oldest daughter will be a sophomore, and our youngest daughter will be a freshman at Virginia Tech this year. I guess you could say they were born and bred to be Hokies! They also have five cousins who either graduated from or still attend Virginia Tech. So, we are thrilled to have so many Hokies in the family!

Barb Chegin and family

MY STORY: We're the proud parents of TRIPLET Virginia Tech students! (L. to r.) Matt, Mike, and Chris Chegin are juniors studying industrial and systems engineering. They are members of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Our Virginia Tech license plate reads "3 AT VT".

Jeff Cohen and Ashley Cohen Turnage

MY STORY: Our family is Hokie-crazy. Three generations of us attended Virginia Tech -- from the grandfather, Dan, to his grandaughter, Ashley Cohen Turnage '01, who now works as an assistant director in Undergraduate Admissions at Virginia Tech, to my daughter-in-law, Lauren, and brother-in-law, Clayton '75.

We have season tickets for football and basketball. I even work for one of the biggest Hokies down here at Sonny Merryman Inc. Whether we are out at the community market here in Lynchburg, Va., or at Sunset Beach, N.C., or wherever, we wear our Hokie gear in almost every situation. We are proud to be Hokies and routinely share our stories with other Hokies in our travels. We all have one thing in common and like to share with other Hokies our memories of when we were students and of our visits back to Blacksburg for games and tailgating.

Virginia Tech has meant a lot to my family throughout the years, and we hope this continues for many more to come.

Lorrie Cooper and family
LORRIE COOPER and FAMILY (l. to r.): Ashley '06, Amory '08, Scott '79, and Lorrie '79.

MY STORY:  We have three generations of Hokies. My father is Charles Quinn (business administration '54), and his brother is Robert Quinn (economics '50). Both of his children -- Lorrie Quinn Cooper (mechanical engineering '79) and Dr. Scott Quinn (biology '81) -- and all of his grandchildren -- Ashley Cooper (business management '06), Amory Cooper (mechanical engineering '08), Bryce Quinn (biology '08), and Taylor Quinn (Class of 2011) -- are Hokies.

I met my husband, Scott Cooper (forestry and wildlife '79), at Tech. We have too many extended relatives who are Tech alumni to list. Our children started visiting Tech when they were only a year old and attended Homecoming 1985. When they got ready to select a college, there was no discussion because Virginia Tech and Blacksburg already felt like home; they knew that they belonged in the Hokie Nation.

We return to campus every fall for the home games, tailgate parties, and what ends up becoming family reunions.

Jessica Dowell and family

MY STORY: On March 20, 2009, numerous members of my family gathered in Lexington, Va., for a dedication ceremony. The Roanoke Valley Hokie Club had arranged for a Hokie Stone and plaque to be laid at my great-great-grandfather's grave site. My Hokie lineage TRULY dates back to the beginning of Hokie history, for my great-great-grandfather is O.M. Stull (Class of 1896), without whom we would not be "Hokies."

(L. to r.): Gordon Meade Willis, Abigail Louise Dowell, James Meade Willis, Jessica Lyn Willis Dowell (hospitality and tourism management '04), Katelyn Elizabeth Dowell, Claire Elizabeth Kneisley Stull (geology '00), Elizabeth Weeks, Mark William Stull, Jessie Lu Stull Burton, Charles Meade Stull (forestry and wildlife '99), Michael Davies Burton, William Meade Stull, and Barbara Sloan Stull.

Read more about O.M. Stull and the March 2009 dedication ceremony.

Learn more about Stull's creation of the popular Virginia Tech cheer, the Old Hokie.

Joe HoggardTitus Hoggard

MY STORY: My dad, George F. Hoggard, was a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and graduated in 1951. I also have an older brother, James Hoggard (English '87), and an older sister, Lora Hoggard Schmidt (sociology '84), who both graduated from Tech. I attended the 1986-87 school year and remember my time in Blacksburg very fondly.

I am a rabid Hokie fan. My wife and I have a 10-month-old son, Titus, who was born Oct. 2, 2009. All during the pregnancy, I relentlessly pestered my wife to let me decorate the nursery in Hokie colors, and she finally gave in!

Love the Hokies! Love Virginia Tech!

Katie Maynard and Mark Harmon

MY STORY: This past June 19, my fiance, Mark Harmon, and I were married. We met at Virginia Tech while we both were student-athletes. He was on the football team, and I was on the softball team. Because both of us are from Ohio, Mark from Elida and I from Lancaster, we always would joke that we had to come all the way to Virginia to meet.

We had a Virginia Tech theme throughout our wedding. Everything from my VT garters to a VT cake, which we cut while the fight song was played. I also had some of my former teammates take a picture with our softball equipment from Virginia Tech. Our entrance song was even "Enter Sandman." We absolutely love Blacksburg and wouldn't be together if it weren't for VIRGINIA TECH!! GO, HOKIES!!!

John Nininger '63 and granddaughter

MY STORY: My granddaughter is a member of the University of Tennessee's "Pride of the Southland" Marching Band. We made a bet that whichever of "our" teams won the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2009 would require that the loser wear a T-shirt chosen by the winner! Needless to say, my grandaughter wore the shirt shown in this picture. It was a blast, and we received numerous comments from people who saw us. Of course, we had to explain what led up to this event. GO, HOKIES!!!

Elwood A. Pais Sr. (chemical engineering '35)Elwood A. Pais Sr. (chemical engineering '35)
(Above) VPI cadet Elwood A. Pais Sr. '35. (Below, l. to r.) Anthony M. Pais (mechanical engineering '50), Elwood A. Pais Sr. (chemical engineering '35), Wilson J. Pais (mechanical engineering '37), and Alexander A. Pais (animal science '43) in Pocahontas, Va.
(L. to r.): Anthony M. Pais (mechanical engineering '50), Elwood A. Pais Sr. (chemical engineering '35), Wilson J. Pais (mechanical engineering '37), Alexander A. Pais (animal science '43)

MY STORY: The Pais family has a history at Virginia Tech, starting with my father, Elwood A. Pais Sr. (chemical engineering '35), who was on the football team from 1931 to 1933; and my uncles, Wilson J. Pais (mechanical engineering '37), who was featured in Virginia Tech Magazine some years ago; Alexander A. Pais (animal science '43); and Anthony M. Pais (mechanical engineering '50) of Austin, Texas, the only brother not deceased.

All four brothers were from Pocahontas, Va., and were sent to Virginia Tech to get degrees in engineering. Only Alexander decided to do something else.

My father took me to my first Tech football game in 1953, and I immediately became a Hokie. My niece, Katherine P. Clowes, has applied to Tech for the fall of 2011.

Betty Pendleton and family

MY STORY:  The Pendleton and Dodson families are proud to be a part of the Hokie Nation! Pictured here in the front are Randy Dodson (civil engineering technology '79), Cory Pendleton (architecture '06), and Jeff Dodson (communication '96). In the back are Joel Pendleton (biology '75), Betty Pendleton (education '76), and Mike Dodson (civil engineering '74). Betty, Randy, and Mike are siblings. Betty is married to Joel, and their son is Cory. Jeff is Mike's son. Go, Hokies!

Laura Bartlett Perkins and family
LAURA BARTLETT PERKINS and FAMILY (l. to r.): Laura '80, Sally '06, Emily, and Wade '80

MY STORY: Wade and I first caught a glimpse of each other at freshman orientation in July 1976, when our families were eating at Long John Silver's. He was from Richmond; I was from McLean. We had another chance meeting at the Freshman Mixer on the first day of class in September. We fell in love and dated all four years at Tech, got engaged at that same Long John Silver's, and married in 1981.

While at Virginia Tech, we taught Sunday school at Blacksburg United Methodist Church and babysat for Louise and Minnis Ridenour's children. When our daughter, Sally, began her college experience at Tech, we reconnected with the Ridenours. Sally also attended Blacksburg Methodist, and the Ridenours developed a friendship with her, giving her a "home away from home," including home-cooked meals.

Long John Silver's is no longer in Blacksburg, but we still have fond memories of many happy years at Virginia Tech.

Hrutav Sandhe, son of Hrushikesh Sandhe

MY STORY: Preparing a future Hokie! My son, Hrutav, is nearly 4 and a half months old ... and all set to join Virginia Tech.

Erinn Smith-Delss '99 and family

MY STORY: When my parents began mailing tuition checks to Burruss Hall in September 1988, they never imagined what a university tucked in the mountains of Southwest Virginia would come to mean to our family. Over the next 11 years, we all fell in love with Virginia Tech, while also falling (thankfully!) for fellow Hokies. My brother, Bert Smith '94 (center) married Michelle Ferris '93 (kneeling). My sister, Johnna Smith '94 (right) married Steven Tselides '92 (far right). And I married Eric Delss '99 (far left). We are surrounded by children who we hope will be blessed enough to continue the traditions of excellent education and of marrying well! This picture, taken in my father's garage, captures just a small dose of the immense pride my family has in sharing the maroon and orange.

Thank you, Virginia Tech; thank you, Mom and Dad; and GO, HOKIES!

Jesse Tuel and family

MY STORY:  My family just became Hokies!

Laura Venerable and family

MY STORY:  Three generations of proud Hokies gathered to celebrate the Hokie spirit ... beginning with Lucian Zelazny '70, through his four Hokie children (and a few Hokie spouses) and leading to the current Hokie generation, Michael Lafon (Class of 2012)!

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