March 22, 2018 - During the past 24 hours, the Hokie nation celebrated a historic milestone kicking off a new annual tradition of giving to Virginia Tech. Thousands of donors rallied to support the university on its first ever Giving Day.
The university received more than 4,800 gifts totaling more than $1.6 million during the 24-hour online fundraising challenge that began at noon on March 20 and ended at noon on March 21.
Vice president for advancement at Virginia Tech, Charlie Phlegar, said, "Virginia Tech's first Giving Day was a tremendous success and we are grateful for the generosity of thousands of Hokies who supported this important tradition. When you give, you make a direct impact on the university's future. We hope Giving Day continues to support a new era of philanthropy at Virginia Tech."
Hokies from 48 states and nine countries participated in Giving Day with gifts ranging from $5 to $100,000 supporting specific colleges and programs.
There were dozens of challenge and match gift donors for the 24-hour period. They included Roanoke's Nancy Dye, who matched gifts of $25 or more to the Corps of Cadets, up to $1,063, a figure that equals the total number of cadets in the corps this past fall. "I have the utmost respect for Gen. Randal Fullhart (commandant of cadets) and the work that he does with the cadets and a respect for the cadets for unselfishly being a part of something larger than themselves," said Dye, who served on Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors from 2012 to 2016. Dye also supports the Corps of Cadets because her son is an officer in the U.S. Army.
Billy Lin, a Virginia Tech junior, has seen the benefit of philanthropy as it helped to fun much of his college education. Lin, a business information technology major has received numerous scholarships while at the university, along with financial aid. "I know how import it (giving) is," he said.
LaTron Brown, president of the Roanoke Valley chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, was one of about 200 ambassadors who helped promote Giving Day. Brown even hosted a happy hour event for alumni on March 20 at Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage in Roanoke, complete with laptops available for accessing the fundraising challenge website.
“Something I always say is ‘I did not spend four years at the university to just disappear,’” said Brown, a 2008 Virginia Tech graduate who lives in Salem, Virginia. “So much of the knowledge and skills that we use in our professional lives began at Virginia Tech. I want students to know that alumni are supporting them by giving back and affording them the opportunities that even I was able to partake. Many things are possible when alumni band together and give back.”
After all, giving back is essential to who Hokies are, Phlegar said.
“In the spirit of our university motto, That I May Serve, we hope that Giving Day will continue to engage our community each year,” he said.
For more on Giving Day, click HERE.
Photo/video courtesy of Virginia Tech University Relations.