by Katie Lukens–
Virginia Tech is continuously building and expanding the university to accommodate the growth of the student body. Although Virginia Tech is a state university, only about 23% of funds for the school come from the state, according to Andy King, a Virginia Tech student. This means that the other 77% of funds comes from donors. These donations support students, faculty, academic initiatives, university programs, athletics and capital projects.
These capital projects include the new buildings across campus. “Private support is an essential component of the funding for important projects across the university” states Virginia Tech. It has been a tradition that if someone makes a large enough donation to a capital project they can have the new building named after them.
Three students had an idea to break the norm of how buildings were named and wanted to honor someone who lived out Virginia Tech’s core value, Ut Prosim. Although they saw how vitally important donors are to the university, Andy King, Nicholas Oberle, Tristan Nguyen wanted to recognize the sacrifice of Matthew La Porte, who was killed defending the lives of others on April 16, 2007.
King, Oberle and Nguyen began a petition to rename a new cadet hall after La Porte. The petition began with hopes of acquiring 5,000 signatures but it quickly grew to over 43,000 signatures.
The university took notice to the large response but has decided not to rename the new building.
King shared his frustration with the university, not because they denied the request to rename the building, but because he felt the request was not taken seriously by the officials.
The efforts of these students have not gone unseen and the memory of La Porte will continue to live on.