For Frank Beamer, who grew up around Virginia Tech graduates and remembers coming to Hokie football games as a kid, being a Hokie is in his blood. Frank was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina in 1946, the baby in a family with four children. Eventually, his family moved to Fancy Gap, Virginia where he helped on the family farm. His mother, Herma Allen Beamer, was a woman who believed in education and was a big enough influence in the lives of Frank and his siblings that they all graduated college. As he says, “Having produced four college graduates — from a place in the country where not everybody goes to college — that says all you need to know about my mom.”

Frank credits his uncle, Sharrell Allen, with exposing Frank and his siblings to things outside of Fancy Gap. Sharrell was a Virginia Tech graduate, and Frank states that “the best thing he ever did for me was introduce me to the school’s football program.”

In high school in Hillsville, Frank played quarterback and defensive back in football. He also played basketball and baseball, but says that football was always his favorite. He says that he could always figure the game out mentally.

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Every Hokie has a story, and VT Stories is committed to preserving and sharing as many of these stories as we can.

The VT Stories Oral History Project began in early 2015 as the result of some informal discussions among a small group of faculty, staff, and administrators across disciplines about utilizing the power of story in a number of different ways in a signature pilot project.

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