Employees had the thrill of passing through the 200-foot long Avery Tunnel and spilling out onto the field at Lane Stadium on May 18. Mimicking a ritual for Hokie athletes, some even touched the Hokie Stone before hitting field. And who would blame them if they imagined the roar of a crowd on game day?

The tunnel experience was just part of the fun during the combined Employee Appreciation Day and Hokie Wellness Health and Benefits Fair, held together this year for the first time.  

This year, the invitation was extended to include all faculty, staff, and non-student wage employees who work on our Blacksburg campus or surrounding locations.

Out of 9,000 employees, more than 3,000 attended the event.  

“This was a fantastic event for our employees to come together to celebrate the end of the 2021-22 academic year in person after a two-year hiatus,” said Bryan Garey, vice president for human resources. “The high level of attendance, the sounds of laughter, and the smiling faces were a joy to see.”

During the four hours, employees enjoyed a free lunch, listened to music by DJ Wayne Johnson II and the Half Throttle band, received a caricature by Virginia Tech’s Doodler Steven White, and formed teams to play cornhole and a variety of games from Venture Out, all on Worsham Field.

During the fun, photos of employees from past events were displayed larger than life on the stadium's video board.

The Hokie Wellness Health and Benefits Fair hosted 62 exhibitors, a mixture of benefits, health and wellness, and Virginia Tech offerings, sponsored by Embrace Loans, Scott Bunn, Realtor.

Employees enjoyed massages, participated in walking groups led by university leaders, created their own smoothies by pedaling a special smoothie bike, received COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots, and more.

“This day is for you as a small token of our great appreciation for your spirit of community and dedication to our great university,” President Tim Sands wrote in a message to employees. “I want to thank each one of you for your dedication to Virginia Tech and our campus community.”

Visit the Employee Appreciation Day website to view a picture gallery from this year’s celebration.

Watch a video recap of the event below.  

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