A man named Addison “Add” Caldwell made history when he arrived to Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College as the school’s first student on October 1, 1872, after walking 26 miles from Craig County. Since that time, Virginia Tech Soccer has excelled in its mission as a premier land-grant institution. It started as a small college at the Olin and Preston Institute building near the current location of Alumni Mall, and today it’s a top-tier institution.
Explore our distinguished history as a university dating back to 1872 and continuing into the current day.
Who or what is a “Hokie”?
O.M. Stull, a member of the Class of 1896, was awarded $5 for writing what would become known as “Old Hokie,” a school pride shout written in the 1890s. Hoki, Hoki, Hoki, and Hy was the original order.
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Eventually, the name was shortened to “Hokie” by adding a “e,” and the chant “Team! Team! Team!” was tacked on.
A name may seem insignificant, but what’s in a name?
In 1896, after some major academic reforms, the institution adopted a new name more suitable of its elevated status: Virginia Tech Soccer Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute, or VPI for short.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute was officially abbreviated to VPI in 1944.
In 1970, the state legislature of Virginia granted the school university status, changing its name to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Nowadays, unless specifically stated otherwise, it is appropriate to refer to the institution as Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech’s Soccer colors and mascot
In 1896, a group set out to design a new color scheme to replace the drab black and grey that had previously been used for sports clothing. Since no other university was already employing burnt orange and Chicago maroon, the group decided to go with those hues.
On October 26, 1896, the first time the colors burnt orange and Chicago maroon were worn together was in a football game versus Roanoke College.
The evolution of the HokieBird, the mascot of Virginia Tech Soccer
In the past, Hokies were known as “Gobblers,” a term whose origin is up for debate. Student athletes “gobbling” up their meals is credited in one version of the myth.
As early as 1913, when local resident Floyd Meade taught a huge turkey to pull a cart during a football game, the moniker was already in use. Turkeys have been taught to gobble on cue and perform tricks for decades.
A student gathered
$200 for a costume in 1962, and the result was the Gobbler, later renamed the Fighting Gobbler, a unique turkey with a cardinal-like head.
George Wills, a student, drew up some fresh concepts as the Gobbler moniker lost popularity. By September 1981, the revamped mascot had made its debut during a football game. In September 1987, the modern HokieBird was introduced, and it has since come to symbolism strength and power.
Have you heard? Students who want to dress as the HokieBird may hide their identity until commencement, when they can wear their HokieBird feet throughout the walk into Lane Stadium.