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Virginia Tech Class of 1969 members awarded for decades of service

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Category: culture Video duration: Virginia Tech Class of 1969 members awarded for decades of service
Virginia Tech honored five members of its Class of 1969 for their contributions to the university during the past five decades. Frank Beamer, Joe Meredith, Raymond Smoot, Charles Steger, and Tom Tillar were recognized with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award for 2019.

[00:00:00] >> Virginia Tech's class of '69. The second class to come through in the midst of a transformation after the university dropped its military service requirement. Among the members, five men who dedicated their postgraduate lives to their alma mater. "We've got the affinity for the university. We've got the affinity for programs and course of friendships that we all make in college. [00:00:22] But the one thing that everybody's got in common is sports." When it comes to sports, legendary football coach Frank Beamer was the glue that brought so many people together in his 29 years as head coach, long before he led the Hokies to 22 consecutive bowl games. "I think that says so much about the integrity that Frank had and that people had around him that wanted to build a program the right way. [00:00:48] I mean we had tough, tough times in those early years and of course the following year he went 9-3 and began the streak and we've been on it ever since." When it comes to strengthening the relationships between graduates and their university, no one understood better than Tom Tillar. [00:01:03] "So Tom really understood that in order to have a strong alumni body that are either going to be involved with you financially or involved with you politically or involved with you emotionally, they needed to have strong bonds with the university." He was one of the driving forces in the planning designing and fundraising for