N e w s
Hokie hurdler makes U.S. Olympic team
At the U.S. Olympic Trials on June 29, rising junior Queen Harrison took second place in the 400-meter hurdles and made Hokie history as the first athlete from Virginia Tech's track and field program to earn a spot on an Olympic team. The Richmond, Va., native is also Tech's first female Olympian in any sport and just its second Olympian ever, joining men's basketball player Bimbo Coles, who represented the United States in 1988. Harrison, who had to withdraw from the NCAA Outdoor Championships in early June because of a hamstring injury, bounced back for the second-place finish with a time of 54.60 seconds to punch her ticket to the Beijing Games in August. A pair of former Tech women's basketball players, Ieva Kublina (Latvia) and Nare Diawara (Mali), will also make their Olympic debuts on their respective nations' teams. Virginia Tech track and field administrative assistant Cleopatra Borel-Brown will make her second Olympic appearance representing Trinidad & Tobago in the shot put. For the schedules of Tech athletes' appearances during the games and a look at past Hokie-related Olympics appearances, go to www.hokiesports.com/olympics.
Tech offers new scholarship for low-income Virginians
To further support a diverse and inclusive campus community, the university has created the Virginia Tech Presidential Scholarship Initiative to reward and assist academically talented, low-income high school students from Virginia. Each year, 50 students will be awarded a renewable scholarship that includes tuition, mandatory fees, and on-campus room and board. Once fully implemented, the initiative will support up to 200 students. Other benefits will include special orientation programming, social and community-building activities to reinforce Virginia Tech as a community that respects and embraces the differences of all individuals, a well-established and structured academic support system, and faculty mentoring. To learn more about the scholarships, including specific eligibility requirements, go to www.vtnews.vt.edu/story.php?relyear=2008&itemno=397.
First campus parking structure approved
The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has approved a capital-funding project that paves the way for the construction of the university's first parking structure. The 1,200-space structure, which will cost an estimated $30 million, will be located in the Perry Street commuter parking lot. User fees, not state funds, will to pay for the construction, which is expected to begin as early as December 2008 with substantial completion expected by summer 2010. During construction, approximately 700 spaces occupied by the construction site will be relocated to the new Lower Chicken Hill lot at the intersection of Southgate Drive and Tech Center Drive. Hokie Stone and professional landscaping will be utilized to ensure that the deck is cohesive with other buildings on campus. "In just the last few years, Virginia Tech has built several new buildings--bringing more and more people to the central core of our campus," said Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administrative services. "These new buildings, in many cases, were built on surface parking lots. The new deck will help us maintain the parking space-to-population ratio as campus development changes the number of available parking spaces. We want to be proactive and ensure adequate parking spaces for our community as we plan for the construction of several new buildings on campus over the next 10 years." For more on the new garage, go to www.vtnews.vt.edu/story.php?relyear=2008&itemno=401. To see the building site, visit www.facilities.vt.edu/pdc/images/parking_structure_site.jpg.