Matthew M. Winston Jr. (marketing management '90) was named the senior associate vice president for alumni relations in September 2015.
It may have been nearly 30 years ago since I moved into Vawter Hall as a freshman, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
The fall day was crisp, and the sky was cloudless. Half of the residents had already set up their lofts and taped posters on their walls. My roommate and I trudged up three flights of stairs with our bags, our small refrigerator, and our stereo equipment—which turned out to be our most important possession. Our hall mates' musical tastes were broad and diverse, and we used these new inventions known as compact discs to introduce ourselves to those who came together from around the world to join the Hokie Nation.
Over the next four years, I learned from faculty members who were experts in their fields and cared for students like me. I logged countless miles on that wind-blown Drillfield in the heat, rain, sleet, and snow. I spent hours sitting on the walls in front of McBryde Hall, Dietrick Dining Hall, and Pamplin Hall, waiting to talk with friends. And I hung out in the stacks in the Newman Library, seeking a quiet place to study.
Since those days as an undergraduate, I've enjoyed being an alumnus. Like many of you, I have attended reunions and game-watching parties. I have contributed to scholarships, recruited students to Tech, and helped fellow Hokies find job opportunities. And I have returned to campus to cheer for our student-athletes, visit with a former professor, and hang out with old friends—all while sporting the familiar colors of Chicago maroon and burnt orange.
My history with Virginia Tech is just a glimpse into the shared experiences of the Hokie Nation. Whether you came from a large or small school, whether you were in-state or out-of-state, or whether you were in the Corps of Cadets or the Marching Virginians, you have so many things in common with the person beside whom you sat in class, your next-door neighbor in your apartment or dorm, or the person with whom you shared a bus seat. We are almost 250,000 strong, and we have a collective legacy of service, success, and memories. We are all Hokies, and that means something.
That legacy is what makes my new role in alumni relations so incredibly exciting. I get to explore the ties that bind us, celebrate with you those shared experiences, and engage with you in service to an institution that has given each of us so much. Thank you for taking this journey with me.
For alumni and their families and friends, the Alumni Association is offering weekend programs devoted to history, health, behind-the-scenes glimpses of Virginia Tech, and the interests of college-bound students. Additional events offer opportunities to connect with fellow alumni at a golf tournament or a microbrew festival.
For more information, visit alumni.vt.edu. Accommodations at The Inn at Virginia Tech are available for all events. For reservations and special alumni pricing, call 877-200-3360.
Civil War Weekend – March 18-20
For a quarter century, our annual Civil War Weekend has showcased Virginia Tech's many contributions to the study of Civil War history. Virginia Tech alumni and other Civil War enthusiasts will gather once again at The Inn at Virginia Tech. Sponsored in partnership with the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, the program includes lectures from leading historians, such as James I. "Bud" Robertson Jr. and William C. "Jack" Davis, as well as Civil War-era music from two bands.
– $275 per person, or $100 for Saturday only
Behind the Scenes at Virginia Tech – April 8-10
Take in tours of new research laboratories, computing operations, athletic facilities, and academic buildings. Hear from faculty about how their research is making an impact.
– $125 per person
A Day in the Life of College Admissions – July 8-9
This program assists 2017 and 2018 high school graduates and their parents with navigating the college application process. Highlights include pointers for conducting an effective college search, a behind-the-scenes look at college admissions, and application preparation tips from admissions professionals. Register early to secure your spot in a program that regularly sells out.
– $130 per adult, $100 per student
Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech
Fourth Annual Hokie Classic Golf Tournament – June 13
Join fellow alumni, guests, and friends for a captain's choice golf tournament at the award-winning Pete Dye River Course. Registration includes greens fees, cart, scoring and door prizes, a commemorative polo shirt, adult beverages, lunch, and a post-tournament dinner in the beautiful clubhouse overlooking the New River. Enjoyable for golfers of every skill level, the tournament will feature Virginia Tech coaches and former varsity players.
– $135 per person, $500 per foursome
Alumni Association Board of Directors ballot
The board of directors nominating committee has proposed the following nominees for election to three-year terms from 2016 through 2019. Please vote for up to 11 nominees, and return the ballot by Friday, April 1. Results will be announced at the Alumni Association board meeting in late April.
_____ Justin O. Graves (sociology '12, M.A. educational leadership and policy studies '14), Fairfax, Virginia
_____ Travis E. Hardy (geography '01), Leesburg, Virginia
_____ Matthew T. Joy (M.D. '14), Roanoke, Virginia
_____ Mark S. Lawrence (management '80), Roanoke, Virginia
_____ Melissa Byrne Nelson (finance '92), Richmond, Virginia
_____ Richard S. Roszak (management '71), Blacksburg, Virginia
_____ Susan Bull Ryan (biological sciences '68), Fredericksburg, Virginia
_____ Winston A. Samuels (M.S. animal science '81, Ph.D. '83), Warwick, New York
_____ Judy McIntire Springer (international studies, communication '95), Swedesboro, New Jersey
_____ Keith J. Stemple (history '95), Washington, D.C.
_____ Kai M. Zuehlke (engineering science and mechanics '05), Atlanta, Georgia
Write-in nomination _______________________________________________________________________
Virginia Tech Alumni Association
Holtzman Alumni Center (0102)
901 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Virginia Tech alumni chapter contacts
Get involved with the Alumni Association through one of the 130-plus chapters and clubs around the world. Find a chapter or club near you today. Questions? Contact Ginny Ritenour, email@example.com.
Alleghany Highlands – Kathleen All, firstname.lastname@example.org | Augusta – Carrie Covey, email@example.com | Central Virginia – Larry Grant II, firstname.lastname@example.org | Charlottesville – Martin Harar, email@example.com | Commonwealth – Volunteer needed | Danville – Volunteer needed | Eastern Shore – Worth Saunders, firstname.lastname@example.org | Emporia/Roanoke Rapids – Kevin Swenson, email@example.com | Fauquier – Robert Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org | Franklin County/Smith Mountain Lake – Tom Curling, email@example.com | Fredericksburg Area – Frank Eak, firstname.lastname@example.org | Halifax – Carlyle Wimbish, email@example.com | Loudoun County – Lynnette Mergler, firstname.lastname@example.org | Massanutten – Britt Hockenberry, email@example.com | National Capital Region – Brent Blevins, firstname.lastname@example.org | New River Valley – Cyndy Graham, email@example.com | Patrick Henry – Volunteer needed | Peanut – Volunteer needed | Peninsula – Lindsay Helbing, firstname.lastname@example.org | Piedmont (Culpeper Area) – Volunteer needed | Prince William – Krysta Ardigo, email@example.com | Richmond – Charlie Wood, firstname.lastname@example.org | Roanoke Valley – Amanda Downing, email@example.com | Rockbridge – Lynn Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org | Shenandoah – Robin McCall, email@example.com | Southside – Frank R. Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org | Southwest Virginia – Hugh Ferguson, email@example.com | Tideneck – Ronnie Gill, firstname.lastname@example.org | Tidewater – Chris Jennings, email@example.com | Tri-Cities – F.W. Abernathy Jr., firstname.lastname@example.org | Williamsburg – Karen Rehm, email@example.com
ALABAMA: Birmingham – Chrissy Behnke, firstname.lastname@example.org | North Alabama – Mark Zesinger, email@example.com
ARIZONA: Flagstaff – Volunteer needed | Greater Phoenix – Volunteer needed | Tucson – Diane Manzini, firstname.lastname@example.org
CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles – Caroline Harrison Kohler, email@example.com | Orange County – Todd Dale, firstname.lastname@example.org | Sacramento – Julia Bartens, email@example.com | San Diego – Chris Waskiewicz, firstname.lastname@example.org | San Francisco Bay Area – Hans Bernhardt, email@example.com
COLORADO: Colorado Springs – Russell Bolish, firstname.lastname@example.org | Denver – Amana East, email@example.com
CONNECTICUT: Volunteer needed
DELAWARE: First State – Steve Cason, firstname.lastname@example.org
FLORIDA: Central Florida – Alfred Reaves, email@example.com | Gainesville – Volunteer needed | Jacksonville – Neil McLellan, firstname.lastname@example.org | Northwest Fla./Mobile, Ala. – Carla Cuilik, email@example.com | South Florida – Scott Fairbrother, firstname.lastname@example.org | Southwest Florida – Mark Hembling, email@example.com | Tallahassee – Jim Pennington, firstname.lastname@example.org | Tampa Bay – Chris Boggs, email@example.com | The Villages – Dave Pierce, firstname.lastname@example.org
GEORGIA: Athens – Sherry Clouser, email@example.com | Atlanta – Chris Cassell, firstname.lastname@example.org | Central Savannah River Area – Robyn Sharpe Williams, email@example.com | Savannah – Chelsea Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org
HAWAII: Meagan O'Neil, email@example.com
ILLINOIS: Chicago – Joe Riccio, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANA: Indianapolis – Bob Brown, email@example.com
IOWA: Kelley Drowne, firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS: Wichita – Nathan Kane, email@example.com
KENTUCKY: Kentuckiana – Steve Heifner, firstname.lastname@example.org | Lexington – Patrick Walsh, email@example.com
LOUISIANA: New Orleans/Baton Rouge – Volunteer needed
MARYLAND: Annapolis – Becky Oaksmith, firstname.lastname@example.org | Baltimore – Tim Fouts, email@example.com | Western Maryland – Jennifer Griesbach, firstname.lastname@example.org
MASSACHUSETTS: New England – Bill Saam, email@example.com
MICHIGAN: Southeastern Michigan – Abigail Lynn Prout, firstname.lastname@example.org
MINNESOTA: Mark Gingrich, email@example.com
MISSOURI: Kansas City – Alexis Bozzo, firstname.lastname@example.org | St. Louis – Raymond Chang, email@example.com
NEBRASKA: Omaha – Tracey Beck, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEVADA: Las Vegas – Florence Jordan, email@example.com
NEW JERSEY: Mark Maloney, mark.maloney@compass–usa.com
NEW YORK: New York Capital District – Melissa Wolf, firstname.lastname@example.org New York City – Steve White, email@example.com | Rochester/Buffalo – Volunteer needed | Syracuse – Lynnette Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTH CAROLINA: Charlotte – Melanie Langmead, email@example.com | Coastal Carolina – Joe Rumsey, firstname.lastname@example.org | Crystal Coast – Kristine Obusek, email@example.com | Greenville – Heather Dunnigan, firstname.lastname@example.org | NC Triad – James Goff, email@example.com | Pinehurst – Edward Duffy, firstname.lastname@example.org | Triangle – Daniel Stevens, email@example.com
OHIO: Cincinnati – Dave Dorton, firstname.lastname@example.org | Columbus – Volunteer needed | Dayton – Christy Herman, email@example.com | Northeast Ohio – David Rasmussen, firstname.lastname@example.org
OKLAHOMA: Jamison Shaffer, email@example.com
OREGON: Portland – Volunteer needed
PENNSYLVANIA: Central Pennsylvania – Heather Weeks, firstname.lastname@example.org | Eastern Pennsylvania – Benjamin Schleicher, email@example.com | Philadelphia – Joanne Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org | Pittsburgh – Ashley Roth, email@example.com
SOUTH CAROLINA: Charleston – Tiffany Ritchie, firstname.lastname@example.org | Columbia – Stefanie Kitchen, email@example.com | Grand Strand/Myrtle Beach – Jeff Mense, firstname.lastname@example.org | Palmetto – Tyler Sites, email@example.com
TENNESSEE: Chattanooga – Keith Hagy, firstname.lastname@example.org | East Tennessee – Keith Parker, email@example.com | Knoxville – Jim Warren, firstname.lastname@example.org | Memphis – Volunteer needed | Middle Tennessee – Katherine Forbes, email@example.com
TEXAS: Austin – Kiel Dolence, firstname.lastname@example.org | Dallas/Ft. Worth – Kristin Donnally, email@example.com | Houston – Jeff Danto, firstname.lastname@example.org | San Antonio – Katie Riddick, email@example.com
UTAH: Marita Viselli, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON: Greater Seattle – Gautam Sawhney, email@example.com
WEST VIRGINIA: Vandalia – Les O'Connor, firstname.lastname@example.org
WISCONSIN: Andrew Purner, email@example.com
Belgium – Dennis Hollich, firstname.lastname@example.org
Germany – James Pauly, Jpauly15@gmail.com
Hong Kong – Kelly Cox, email@example.com
India (Hyderabad) – Sujana Reddy, firstname.lastname@example.org
India (Mumbai) – Mayur Aggarwal, email@example.com
Turkey – Firat Fidan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alleghany Highlands, Atlanta, Baltimore, Central Florida, Charlotte, Denver, First State, Fredericksburg, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, National Capital Region, New River Valley, Palmetto, Richmond, Roanoke Valley, San Antonio, Shenandoah, Southwest Virginia, Tidewater
Central Pennsylvania, Charleston, Chicago, Jacksonville, Kentuckiana, NC Triad, North Alabama, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Williamsburg
Columbia, Dallas/Fort Worth, East Tennessee, Emporia/Roanoke Rapids, Grand Strand/Myrtle Beach, Rockbridge, San Diego, South Florida, The Villages
Outstanding Chapter Event:
First State – Spring Fling Speaker Event and Gourmet Farm-to-Table Dinner
Outstanding Community Service Project:
Williamsburg – Big Event 2015
Outstanding Golf Tournament:
Southwest Virginia – Bow Tie Classic
Outstanding Fundraising Event:
Prince William – 8th Annual Virginia Tech Alumni Golf Tournament
Outstanding Chapter Marketing Program:
Outstanding Networking Event:
Tidewater – Tidewater Hokie Business Network (Re)Launch Event
North Alabama – Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State Under the Stars
Broadening Alumni Engagement Award:
Denver – Young Alumni Stranahan's Distillery Tour
Most Improved Chapter:
Outstanding New Chapter:
Outstanding Chapter Volunteer:
Richard Ruckman (civil engineering '81), Shenandoah chapter
Outstanding Chapter Officer:
Amy Zielenbach (political science '98), Tampa Bay chapter
Majestic North America
Travel across the beautiful North American countryside with your fellow Hokies on one of our new domestic tours.
Southwest National Parks
Join us on a 10-day journey through a spectacular series of natural wonders in the American Southwest. At Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, Zion National Park, and the Grand Canyon, admire the otherworldly formations famously photographed by Ansel Adams. Go river rafting along Glen Canyon, walk narrow Antelope Slot Canyon, marvel at the scenic vistas of Arches and Canyonlands national parks, and share a peaceful evening with Navajo storytelling.
July 25-Aug. 4
Experience Alaska's rugged beauty while sailing aboard Oceania Cruises' graceful Regatta. From Seattle, sail north to the picturesque Alaskan ports of Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, Skagway, and Sitka; marvel at the magnificent Hubbard Glacier; and explore lovely Victoria, British Columbia.
Canadian Rockies Parks and Lodges
World-class resorts and breathtaking scenery highlight this seven-day journey into the Canadian Rockies. Accompanied by two Orbridge expedition leaders, find adventure in the vast lands and magnificent ranges of the Banff, Yoho, and Jasper national parks, the crystal waters of Lake Louise and Maligne Lake, and the glacial masses of Icefields Parkway. Then, return to the region's premier resort lodgings, and enjoy the comforts these exceptional facilities have to offer.
The Magnificent Great Lakes
Picture yourself surrounded by pristine islands draped in verdant wilderness and rocky shores caressed by sparkling blue waters. From Chicago to Montreal, cruise all five Great Lakes and the scenic St. Lawrence River aboard the new 210-guest MS Saint Laurent. Treat yourself to elegant amenities and stunning vistas as this luxurious ship takes you to charming islands and lakeside towns steeped in intriguing maritime history.
View our complete list of tours and book your travel at alumni.vt.edu/travel.