Origin of the Virginia Tech Hokie

Virginia Tech’s fearing mascot stands tall throughout the campus. Visitors who have never encountered such a mascot think it’s a spirited bird or rather a gobbler. But to Tech students, it is not just a turkey or a bird, but a Hokie. Almost any Tech fan will respond to the  question, “What is a Hokie?” with “I am!”

The fiber glassed Hokie located in the  Student Squires

What do you believe a Hokie is?

“A bird.” Sara Gugliemo Langley High School (’14)

“A kind of instrument.” Harris LaTeef Langley High School (’14)

“Someone that goes to Virginia Tech.” Taro White Stafford High School (’14)

 “An indian tribe.” Kayla Sharpe Paul Vi Catholic High School (’13)

 “A bird, a spirited bird.” Savannah Hummer Dominion High School (’13)

“A bird that is strong.” Hannah Gwartney West Potomac High School (’13)

“A dance move or a name of a food or a kind of bird related to a turkey.” Ana Hunter-Nickels Harrisonburg High School (’15)

“It reminds me of the dance the Hokie Pokie. I think of it not as an item but a movement.” Bradley Wilson (jCamp’s photo journalism instructor)

“A wild type of bird that runs around and eats mud.” Troi Newman Gwynn Park High School (’14)

“I think it’s a turkey that lives on farms.” Jasmine Dailey Westlake High School (’14)

“I think of the school, maroon and orange, football, and screaming fans.” Rachael Tanner Rockbridge County High School (’13)

“I don’t know but assuming from the mascot it is some sort of bird.” Yasmine Magtio Herndon High School (’13)

The Hokie may look like a turkey, but it is not a real creature.

Lucy Murray thinks the bird looks a little intimidating.

“It is a fierce turkey,” she said. “It is in a bird’s nature to be in your face”

But, students who go to Tech disagree.

 “(The Hokie might be intimidating) to other people, but I don’t think a mascot has to be intimidating just be a mascot,” said Danielle Buynak, a jCamp counselor.

In fact, the Hokie was originally a chant created by O.M Stull in 1896 for a  spirit competition. The original chant was made for the first name of the college which was, Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute.

The name was so long that students shortened to a more suitable name, VPI.  Because the cheer made a reference to the former college, students made a new one. So, Stull created Hoki.

The prize for creating this spirit yell was $5, which he won.  Later on the letter “e” was added on to the end of the word.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy.
Techs, Techs, V.P.I.
Sola-Rex, Sola-Rah.
Polytechs – Vir-gin-ia.
Rae, Ri, V.P.I.
Team,Team,Team

Members of the Virginia Tech community have a lot of pride in their college. There are five feet of fiber glassed Hokie statues placed in different areas around the Tech campus. In 2006, the Gobble de Art public art project wanted to increase visual art and tourism in Blacksburg by placing over 70 statues of art around the campus.

The original 70 Hokie birds have all been sold, but many still remain on display.The Blacksburg Partnership has inspired a line of two inch fiber glassed Hokies perfect for homes and dorms.The Hokie may look like a turkey, but it is certainly not.

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