This year’s Black Alumni Reunion, held April 13-15, was a chance for alumni to commemorate significant milestones, celebrate, and connect.

The biennial event, hosted by Alumni Relations, included the Influential Black Alumni Awards Ceremony, Spring Game tailgate, Alumni Exhibition Step Show, a gala, and more.

The weekend kicked off Friday with networking and socializing between alumni and students. Friday evening, seven alumni were recognized during the Influential Black Alumni Awards ceremony.

Influential Black Alumni Award winners
President Tim Sands and Matt Winston, senior associate vice president for alumni relations (center), stand with 2018 Influential Black Alumni award winners at Friday's ceremony.

Matt Winston, senior associate vice president for alumni relations, and President Tim Sands were among university officials to attend the ceremony.

There, Sands announced the creation of the university’s 15th living-learning community for students interested in understanding, supporting, and learning about the African-American experience. The Ujima (oo-JEE-muh) Living Learning Community will be located in Peddrew-Yates Hall.

Before recognizing the award winners, Winston said he’s proud when he sees all that Hokies are doing to make a difference in their communities.

"You have gone out into the world and lived your lives and careers with distinction. Your accomplishments are such a positive reflection of our university," Winston said. "We are stronger together. We are powerful together. And as we continue to unify and make our presence and impact known, then we can continue to show the world that together that we are Virginia Tech."

Reunion attendees go to the Spring Game
The Black Alumni Reunion was held on the same weekend as the Virginia Tech football Spring Game.

He also noted the Black Alumni Reunion attendees chose a packed weekend to come back to campus.

The Black Alumni Reunion was just one of the events held over the weekend, including Spring Family Weekend, English Field Dedication, Virginia Tech football's Spring Game, and the 3.2-Mile Run in Remembrance.

“You being a part of all the energy here is really important,” Winston said.

This theme of this year’s reunion was Raising the BAR: Celebrating Black Excellence at Virginia Tech. The milestones commemorated this year include:

  • The 65th anniversary of the first black student, Irving Peddrew III, to enroll at Virginia Tech.
  • The 60th anniversary of the first black student, Charlie L. Yates, to graduate from Virginia Tech.
  • The 50th anniversary of Groove Phi Groove, the first black organization on campus.
  • The 50th anniversary of the Human Relations Council (predecessor to the Black Student Alliance).
  • The 50th anniversary of Linda Adams Hoyle’s graduation, the first black woman to graduate.
  • The 40th anniversary of the Black Student Alliance.
  • The 25th anniversary of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).
  • The 25th anniversary of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED).