Willis and Mary Nolen Blackwood: The Hokie Nation Personified

“It amazes me,” Mary Nolen Blackwood joyfully reminisces, a Virginia Tech grad of ‘73, “you love each other in spite of your idiosyncrasies.”  Willis and Mary Nolen Blackwood, Class of 1972 and 1973 respectively, have continued to maintain their connection to Virginia Tech for the past 50 years following graduation through heavy family ties and financial involvements. Even in Florida, …

Douglas Martin: A Beacon of Service

Douglas Martin has spent the better part of a century in service of his fellow Americans. As a 2010 Virginia Tech Daily press release puts it, he has “provided guidance and support to thousands”. That’s no small feat, but it’s all in a lifetime’s work for the director emeritus. Every employee, retiree, student, faculty member and administrator to come through …

James “Jim” Hatch: Gratitude and Giving Back

Jim Hatch never expected to end up at Virginia Tech. As he says himself, apart from attending a few Hokie football games during his time as a member of his high school marching band, Tech just “wasn’t on [his] radar.” As a young man, it’s hard to imagine that he would’ve foreseen the major impact Virginia Tech would eventually have …

Dr. Doug Montgomery: Triple Tech Graduate

Most Hokies bleed orange and maroon, and Doug Montgomery is no exception. Having gotten all three of his academic engineering degrees from Virginia Tech, he has a particularly close and special relationship with the university that he has carried with him after graduating and will continue to carry for the rest of his life. Doug was born in Roanoke, Virginia …

Matt Arden: Merging Creativity and Mentorship

Virginia Tech graduate Matt Arden, Class of 1999, dreamed of being a sportscaster since he was 13 years old. With a prolific career in sports television spanning almost 20 years and garnering him three Emmy awards, he has brought his dream to fruition. Arden was born in Washington, D.C., and when his parents divorced, he stayed in Woodbridge to live …

Dr. Mayer Levy: Giving Reasons to Smile

Mayer Levy was born and raised in Newport News, Virginia. His family had been there since the 1800s, and the area was racially segregated as he grew up. His Father had attended VPI, which influenced Mayer to follow suit. Also, his Mother had gotten her teaching certificate from what is now Mary Washington University, so it was always assumed that …

Ezra “Bud” Brown: Passing the Torch of Mentorship

D r. Ezra A. “Bud” Brown knows exactly what it’s like to feel connected to Virginia Tech and its students. Though he recently retired, he had been a faculty member of the university for 48 years, growing increasingly passionate about his work over the years. He has been a mentor, ally, and resource for his students and the experiences he …