When asked, “What’s a Hokie?” what would you say? You could begin to explain our maroon and orange feathered friend, or you might speak of the rambunctious student section and the packed cubbies of Newman Library. Virginia Tech graduates always know the answer–what’s a Hokie? I am.
Fifteen years after graduating from Virginia Tech with double majors in Political Science and Communications, Matt Fox continues to live his life as a Virginia Tech Hokie. While working as a financial advisor, Matt has still found time to pursue his life-long love of tennis. As a member of the Virginia Tech tennis team, Matt translated his passion into a career as a professional tennis umpire, which has taken him all over the world. He has worked at fifteen US Opens, three Australian Opens, four French Opens, and, most recently, Wimbledon.
While his travels have taken him far from Blacksburg, Matt knows he is always a Hokie at heart. Matt truly embraces the spirit and power of Virginia Tech, understanding that Tech is a living, growing community that transcends a student’s four years.
“You can always paint a picture, no matter where you are in life you can paint a picture of what Virginia Tech looks like when you were here as a student.” Matt Fox
After the tragic events of April 16th, Matt returned to Blacksburg and met with many of the young students, taking them to coffee, giving them a moment’s solace in the wake of catastrophe. These relationships, built in the shadow of grief, reminded students of power within Hokie Nation.
Faced with the choice of crumpling in the aftershock of April 16th or standing in solidarity as Hokies, Virginia Tech chose the latter. Matt, even as an alumnus, is a living symbol of this choice to become a bigger, better community in spite of immense adversity. The students to whom Matt gave a cup of coffee, a hand to hold, and a shoulder on which to lean are still part of his life today.
“To me the Hokie nation what makes us great is all the great relationships, and we’re like family. You know it’s more than just like a colleague or a fellow student. Virginia Tech is like family, so I’m glad that I learned how to build those relationships quickly.” Matt Fox
Regardless of whatever corner of the world Matt finds himself in, he will always be a part of the Virginia Tech family. When Matt is asked “What’s a Hokie?” he can truly, confidently answer: I am.
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About this Story
Date Recorded: November 11, 2016
Interviewer: Jenny Nehrt
Date Posted: September 23, 2016
Editor: Shannon Larkin & Jessie Rogers