The Virginia Press Association will honor "The Hokie Nation" with its 2008 Virginian of the Year Award at the Virginia Press Association/Associated Press News Conference and Annual Meeting to be held at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center March 14.

The Virginian of the Year is the association’s highest citizen-honor and celebrates the triumphs and successes of a native Virginian.

According to Ginger Stanley, executive director of the Virginia Press Association: “The Hokie Nation conducted itself with dignity, compassion, and grace,” following the April 16, 2007, campus tragedy. “It accepted well-wishes and support from around the world, yet it refused to fold under duress. For its rock-solid performance in the wake of great tragedy, The Hokie Nation has been named the 2008 Virginian of the Year by the Virginia Press Association.”

The Virginian of the Year Award, officially named the Parks-Mason Memorial Award, has been presented by Virginia Press Association every year since 1967. Virginians who have made noteworthy contributions in all walks of life have received the honor.

Virginia Tech's James I. Robertson Jr., Alumni Distinguished Professor of history, was named Virginian of the Year for 2000. Other previous recipients include the, NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd; entertainers The Statler Brothers, Bruce Hornsby, Ralph Stanley, Roy Clark, June Carter Cash, and Tim and Daphne Maxwell Reid; former Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr.; television personalities Willard Scott and Spencer Christian; and authors David Baldacci and William Styron are also among the recipients.

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