At a family reunion in August, the common topic of conversation was obviously college. Everyone was asking about my classes, my new friends, and that crazy Blacksburg weather. One person asked what I did in my spare time. I explained that yes, Blacksburg is a very small town so we have to make our own fun. He immediately responded, “Well it’s no wonder they go around shooting each other up, they’ve got nothing better to do.”
Needless to say, I flipped. I was screaming and crying for a solid hour. Mostly, I was in pure shock that anyone would say that, let alone to a current student.
Is that really the reputation we have? No “Ut Prosim,” no “Beamer Ball,” no “Invent the Future.” Just tragedy.
“Virginia Tech Shooting Leaves 33 Dead”
“Virginia Tech Murder: Morgan Harrington’s Parents Talk”
“Virginia Tech Student Charged in Abduction and Killing of 13-Year-Old Girl”
I used to give a very simple answer when I was asked why I chose Virginia Tech: they have a great business school, it is in-state, and the students seem to love it. But hundreds of universities have those qualities, so what makes Virginia Tech special? Why not transfer? Why do I continue to choose Virginia Tech?
“You go to that school?”
Yes, yes I do.
“Virginia Tech Named in Top 10 Percent on List of World’s Best Universities”
“More than 1,000 Students Stand Against Hate after Threat Against Muslims on VT Campus”
“VT Students Launch Experimental 3D Printer on NASA Rocket Ship from Wallops Island”
“Virginia Tech Research Team Brought Flint, Michigan Water Crisis to Light”
“Virginia Tech gives back to the community with annual Big Event”
“Relay for Life: Virginia Tech Hosts Largest Collegiate Relay in the World”
You don’t really understand the impact of these tragic events on the community until you attend the April 16th midnight vigil and watch the victims’ loved ones mourn. You don’t understand the meaning of Ut Prosim until you join an organization that is 100% dedicated to serving the community. You don’t understand what “What’s A Hokie? I Am!” means until you realize that you met your lifelong friends because you all wanted to be a part of the Hokie Nation.
I am blessed to be a part of an incredible community of people who give back, who stand together, and are working to make the world a better place.
It is a privilege to be a Hokie.