Virtual Homecoming week brings Blacksburg to Hokies around the world
As students and alumni around the world navigate a year unlike any other, one thing remains the same: their celebration of Hokie pride. Virginia Tech Homecoming, an annual event that brings together current and past Hokies, will be held this year for the first time ever as a week of virtual events, Oct. 11 to Oct. 17. This year Homecoming week events will be accessible online via the homecoming website and social media.
“Right now, the safety of our campus community is paramount. Our students have gone above and beyond to create a memorable virtual experience that highlights much of what we have come to love about Homecoming, and all Hokies can experience that wherever they are,” said Sean Grahe, director of Student and Young Alumni Engagement.
“This year each of our events are grounded in one of our values,” said Eva Grumbine, director of programming for the Homecoming Board and a senior double majoring in International Public Policy and Human Development. “Each of our events focus on a different aspect of why Virginia Tech is home to so many people from so many different backgrounds. This year, there really is an event for everyone!”
Throughout the week there will be different activities for a wide-range of interests, so that current and alumni Hokies alike can find something they’ll enjoy. Homecoming Week events include:
Hokie Hindsight—Monday, October 12
- Join in the interview stream as Hokies discuss how Virginia Tech traditions have impacted their college experiences.
Homecoming’s Got Talent—Tuesday, October 13
- Watch as Virginia Tech’s most talented students and Homecoming Court candidates perform live at Squires. The event will be streamed via Youtube and accessible through links on social media.
Past, Present, Future—Wednesday, October 14
- Check out this pre-recorded conversation with current students and alumni on diversity at Virginia Tech.
Wear’s Home?—Thursday, October 15
- Follow this social media campaign and join in with your own submissions as Hokies across Blacksburg submit a photo of themselves representing where they find belonging in Blacksburg. The winner will receive a JBL speaker.
Hokie Spirit Contest—Friday, October 16:
- Calling all Hokies! Decorate anything you'd like in Hokie Spirit- anything at all! Submit your pictures through our social media links and accounts. Various winners will receive Hokie prize packs.
In addition to the virtual formatting of the event, Homecoming 2020 will be debuting its gender-neutral Homecoming Court.
“In 2015, Homecoming Court began running on platforms. Each year, court candidates run their campaign on a cause that they would like to see receive more attention in the Virginia Tech community. In collaboration with several student groups across campus, the Homecoming Court decided to change from Homecoming Queen and King to Homecoming Royalty. Winners will now be awarded in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, to encourage platform-based voting and to further inclusivity on the Virginia Tech campus,” said Kelly Reilly, Director of Court for Homecoming Board and a senior Human Resources major.
Students and alumni around the world will now be able to remain safe while also participating in activities and connecting with old friends, new faces, and Hokies of all ages.
“I have friends and alumni in Seattle and Atlanta who otherwise wouldn't be able to participate because of COVID-19 restrictions who are getting the opportunity to connect and enjoy Homecoming traditions,” said Reilly.
To prepare for Homecoming this year, Grahe has one piece of advice: get involved as much as you can.
“Share with us how you’re celebrating Homecoming at home and cheering on our Hokies against Boston College. Share your favorite Homecoming traditions and memories of Blacksburg during this special week. Take a moment to reminisce about what has made your time at Virginia Tech and the Hokie experience that makes Blacksburg home for all of us,” said Grahe.
Written by Madison Sweezy