For this year’s Commonwealth Cup game at Lane Stadium, their was an unusual “Drive For 25” logo on the field at each 25-yard line that had many fans confused with a less-than 15 second clip video of Frank Beamer on the field next to a “Drive For 25” logo being the first time that Virginia Tech had said anything about this new initiative.
After today’s press conference, we know what exactly what the “Drive For 25” is.
— HokieSports (@hokiesports) December 12, 2016
Virginia Tech formally launched the “Drive For 25” and explained what it was in a press conference headlined by Whit Babcock and Frank Beamer which is a massive Hokie Club push to grow the number of Hokie Club members from around 10,000-11,000 to 25,000. Babcock also announced that Frank Beamer will be the chairperson for the Hokie Club campaign which is likely to go on for at least the next 2 to 3 years.
The move is part necessitated by the fact that the Hokies’ scholarship bill is around $14.5 million while donations to the scholarship fund are around $11.5 million, forcing Virginia Tech athletics to pull money out of there operating budget. Babcock said that a focus of this campaign is to close that gap with most of the “Drive For 25” campaign money likely to go to scholarships to close that gap and then other projects when that time comes.
It was also mentioned how Virginia Tech athletics receives donations from only 4% of their alumni, ranking in the bottom third of the ACC. Virginia Tech hopes to at least double that number to around 8% while even having their highest aims at approaching Clemson’s impressively high number of 18%.
Whit Babcock also said that the Hokies plan on asking more and no longer being as “humble” in asking for donations from alumni and friends of Virginia Tech athletics.
What is clear is that Virginia Tech athletics and the Hokie Club are embarking on a very ambitious plan to begin raising money at the elite level that elite athletic programs across the country raise money at. This ambitious plan of growing the Hokie Club to 25,000 will be definitely be a tough task given how Hokie Club growth has stalled out at around 10,000-11,000 over the past 15 years, but Virginia Tech athletics has the leadership in place to challenge that.
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