Matt Winston Sr.: Leading the way for Future Hokies

M att Winston Sr., Virginia Tech class of 1959, was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1938, the youngest of three children. Though he grew up in a time of warfare and racial segregation in a poor family, he enjoyed his childhood. He remembers being hardly aware of the hardships around him, to which he says: “Someone was looking after me …

Frank Beamer: Making Virginia Tech Home

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. …

William (Bill) Starnes, Jr.: Proud to be a Hokie

William (Bill) Starnes, Jr., Virginia Tech class of 1955, never seriously considered any other school. Bill always knew that he was going to college, and because his father attended the university, having graduated in 1924, it seemed like the perfect place to be. Growing up in Lee County, VA, Bill enjoyed all that his hometown had to offer him as …

Mickey Hayes: Cultivating Land and Hokies

M ickey Hayes, born as Charles Joseph Hayes, Jr. was born in Pittsburgh in 1941, moved to Norfolk very shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and finally settled in Virginia Beach for the rest of his childhood. Here, he mostly spent his time away from conventional beachside activities. Instead, he fished, crabbed, and went water-skiing on the Lynnhaven River. …

Bob Bates: Researcher, Collaborator, and Educator

Education has always been important in the life of Robert “Bob” Bates, former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (now College of Science). Both of his parents were college-educated, and his mother was a teacher, while his father worked for the U.S. government. The youngest of four, Bates and his siblings were all expected to attend college. Although …

Linda Plaut: Paving the Way for Equality

You don’t have to graduate from Virginia Tech to be a Hokie. After moving to Blacksburg as a faculty spouse, Linda Plaut joined the university’s staff as a part-time teacher. What started as a temporary position blossomed into a permanent career of building lifelong friendships and igniting the torch of gender equality on Virginia Tech’s campus. During her years at …