Hundreds of Hokies were greeted by their new neighbors when they moved into The Inn at Virginia Tech two weeks ago.

“We already consider these students part of the alumni community,” said Shaun Grahe, director of student and young alumni engagement for Virginia Tech Alumni Relations. “So, we want to welcome them and the sooner we can have them infused in Hokie culture, the better.”

About 325 first-year Virginia Tech students will spend the 2019-20 academic year housed in converted rooms on the first three floors of the on-campus hotel. While housing students, The Inn at Virginia Tech will remain fully operational as a hotel, restaurant, and conference center and will accommodate guests who reserve rooms and event space.

The Inn is adjacent to the Holtzman Alumni Center. The close proximity provides an ideal opportunity for the Virginia Tech Alumni Association to emphasize their ongoing efforts to embrace students.

Motivated by this, members of the university’s alumni relations team volunteered at The Inn as Hokie Helpers. They assisted with the move-in process for students and parents and also communicated some benefits of the location.

“We want to introduce them to the alumni association here, and we hope to let them know they are part of this community and we’re ready for them to participate in our activities throughout the year,” Grahe said.


people talking outside.
Students and parents were greeted by volunteers who assisted in the move-in process.

The student and young alumni engagement team hosts events for students throughout the school year, including Grad Fair, Grad Bash, Senior Class Gift events, and more.

Along with the association’s student programing, current Hokies are also encouraged to take advantage of the Holtzman Alumni Center as a spot for socializing and studying.

“That’s what the Holtzman Alumni Center is here for; it’s your alumni center,” said Grahe of his message to the incoming class.

The center is a resource second-year student and sophomore class president Danielle Panico said more students across campus need to utilize.

“I feel like a lot of kids aren’t exposed to it much, so that’s what we’re trying to emphasize,” said Panico, who is also helped with move-in as a member of Virginia Tech’s Student Alumni Association. “It’s like, hey, we have these awesome study spaces here. They’re a quiet place where any student can go, and it’s low-key.”

Panico added she was motivated to help with the move-in process because of her own experience last fall.

“I came here from Boston and when I moved in, I had friendly faces helping me, so I wanted to give back and live out Ut Prosim,” she said.

Despite the addition of locations for move-in this year, the spirit of Hokies helping with the process remains the same.

“They’ve been pretty welcoming,” said first-year student Haley Gump as she unpacked at the Inn.  “And they’ve been really, really helpful.”

Written by Travis Williams


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