Pendant found, owner lost
I have a "strange-but-true" story. Twenty years ago in the Richmond area, I found a woman's pendant with the letters "VPI" on it and "Ring Dance 1964" around the center stone. I lost the pendant some years back but recently found it again, and I would like to return it to the rightful owner. Can you help?
Editor's note: The pendant has been returned to Virginia Tech and is currently on display with other class rings and mementos. However, anyone who might have information about the owner of the pendant can contact the Alumni Association by calling 540/231-6285 or e-mailing VaTechAlumni@vt.edu.
Another minstrel picket memory
I can confirm the story related by Leigh Vaughan '67, in his letter to the editor in the Fall 2003 issue about the picketing of the 1964 Corps Minstrel Show.
I was present and among the protesters, as was my friend John A. Diehl, also Class of 1966. As I recall, it was not a loud or confrontational protest. While we respected the traditions of Tech and the corps (I had been in the Highty-Tighties and had played "Dixie" as loud as anyone), we were trying to get the members of the audience and the show to think about whether continuing the tradition of black-faced side men in 1964 was appropriate in light of the changes taking place in the country and that would inevitably take place at Tech. It was extremely cold, and after we shared our thoughts with the arriving audience members, we left to find warmer accommodations to discuss the potential for change at Tech.
When I look back on some of the things I did in the '60s, I am glad that I was at the march on Washington with Dr. King in 1963, but I am probably more proud of being with those few Tech students who shivered in front of Burruss Hall on that bitter winter night because we believed that there were many talented, deserving minority students who wanted to attend Virginia Tech, and that they should no longer be left out in the cold.
David A. Splitt '66
Student body's name of choice
As I read "Virginia Tech, by any other name" in the Fall 2003 issue of Virginia Tech Magazine, I was immediately reminded of the student response to the adding of "and State University" to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute moniker in 1970. With much fanfare, and its tongue firmly planted in cheek, the student newspaper ran a "Name The University" contest. Many names were proposed and considered; however, the hands-down winner harkened back to the agricultural and mechanical heritage that many thought VPI was trying to forget.
And what was that winning entry? The "Eastern Institute of Enlightened Intellectual Outlook" or, in its abbreviated form, taken directly from "Old McDonald": "E I E I O."
Frank Ayers '74
Palm Coast, Fla.
I enjoyed the article, "Virginia Tech, by any other name," in the Fall 2003 edition of Virginia Tech Magazine. However, I was surprised you did not mention the student body's attempt in the late 1970s to settle the issue with a naming contest. The winner, "E I E I O," which stood for "Eastern Institute of Enlightenment and Intellectual Outgrowth," was a perfect reference to our agricultural roots and growth as a university. Entries were submitted with a logo, and T-shirts of the winning entry were made. I still have the T-shirt [right], albeit a bit faded and worn.
Mary Ellen (Houle) Olien '80
Editor's note: Although we checked the available issues of The Techgram and The Virginia Tech from the early and late 1970s, we were unable to find any information about either of these contests, or the remarkable similarity between the two winning entries. Our curiosity has been duly piqued--if you have any information about this bit of history, let us know!