Virginia Tech Magazine
Virginia Tech

The Generosity of Thousands


Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger
You did it.

You helped us raise $1 billion—to be exact, $1,112,703,977—to secure the future of Virginia Tech.

We are devoting most of this edition of the university magazine to stories of university excellence driven forward by the recently concluded Campaign for Virginia Tech: Invent the Future. Generating such prodigious resources was no easy task, but Hokie generosity and commitment showed their strength over the past eight years.

In these pages, you will see how you and your fellow Hokies have made a difference in the lives of thousands. Here are stories about gifts, large and small—from a first-time gift donated by a young alumna just starting her career to a major contribution from an established alumnus that enables critical growth in the university's life sciences research efforts. Here are the stories of a university finding ways to invent the future.

Achievements of this magnitude happen only because of the vision and dedication of extraordinary people. We were blessed throughout the campaign's "quiet" and public phases to have been led by stellar Hokies such as Gene Fife (business administration '62), Bill Holtzman (horticulture '59), John Lawson (geophysics '75), and Dave Calhoun (accounting '79). The university was fortunate to have the strong leadership of Betsy Flanagan, vice president for development and university relations, at the helm of the fundraising team throughout the campaign.

Nearly 900 volunteers—either alumni or friends—zealously exerted themselves while encouraging others to participate. They helped us host 21 events in nine states and Washington, D.C.

Through your generosity, you not only helped us surpass our campaign goal but also funded 563 endowed scholarships; 55 endowed funds supporting faculty chairs, professorships, or fellowships; and 181 endowed funds supporting programs in academics, research, Extension, or University Libraries. The funds are now generating income to help us attract the world's brightest minds, extend the reach of discovery, and help students attend college. In all, you created 1,000 endowed funds. More than 169,000 contributors made 531,117 gifts throughout this campaign, a number that is simply astonishing. Against that backdrop, a thank-you seems inadequate; still, I thank you all.

Americans are a generous lot. No other nation in the world generates so much compassion and philanthropy. At our university, the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), our desire to serve our country and help others, spills over into a generosity of spirit that will help others for generations.

As we exit the aura of a fundraising campaign, we do not exit an era of need. There are young people who need our help. To remain internationally competitive, our nation must increase the percentage of its populace with advanced education. I see a continuing need to assist underrepresented and first-generation students. Only as our nation continues to extend the benefits of higher education will we maintain our worldwide leadership.

As governments increasingly retrench and pull back institutional support, universities like Virginia Tech are becoming more and more self-sufficient. Today, private support is how we maintain the competitive edge in which we advance science, prepare future generations to lead, and extend knowledge into our communities to solve problems.

An accomplishment on the scale of this campaign provides cause to celebrate and look back with pride. It also provides inspiration and resources for extraordinary achievements in the future. You can be certain that your continuing commitment and involvement have a major impact not only on Virginia Tech, but on all the communities and people that we serve.


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Winter 2011-12
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