Blacksburg native Lanto Griffin becomes PGA Tour winner

Lanto Griffin learned the game of golf at the Blacksburg Country Club and years later is hoisting the trophy for a PGA Tour victory. Griffin won the Houston Open last Sunday on a dramatic birdie late into the competition.

“This is going to be a week I never forget, regardless of what happens in the rest of my career,” said Griffin in his press conference following the victory. “I feel very fortunate; I’m beyond words. Thank you to Houston.”

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The top spot came down to one stroke, as Griffin finished with a -14 on the day. Mark Hubbard and Scott Harrington both finished with -13, while Harris English and Xinjun Zhang both came in at -11.

Griffin, Harrington, and Hubbard were all tied at -13 until the 16th hole. Griffin was able to hit a difficult birdie shot to take a late advantage and continue on par for the final two holes.

The victory at the Houston open is Griffin’s first career PGA Tour win as well as his first professional win. Following the victory, Griffin was ranked 13th in the PGA Tour rankings amongst golf’s elite performers.

Griffin worked on his game as a young player at the Blacksburg Country Club before attending Virginia Commonwealth University on a golf scholarship in 2006. It wasn’t until 2018 that Griffin was able to work up through the professional ranks and join the PGA Tour.

“I set realistic goals and then I like to achieve them and set new ones,” Griffin said. “We’ll have to sit down and re-evaluate the rest of the year. For me, when I play well it makes me want to do even better.”

After winning the Houston Open, Griffin will be invited to the Masters Tournament this spring in Augusta, Georgia.

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Creativity and Innovation District construction begins at Virginia Tech

Construction of the Creativity and Innovation District is underway on the Virginia Tech campus, a $105 million project set to be completed by the summer of 2021. The three connected buildings will form a living learning community that combines existing programs within the Moss Arts Center, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), and the School of Performing Arts.

The Creativity and Innovation District will house approximately 600 students and take up 225,000 square feet on the eastern end of Virginia Tech’s campus. The three buildings will be positioned near Squires Student Center, Newman Library and the Graduate Life Center.

VMDO Architects will be in charge of construction of the district and began construction in the spring 2019. According to Virginia Tech’s website, President Tim Sands sees the new living learning community as a crossover for all of Virginia Tech’s strong suits to be able to work together and share ideas in an innovative environment.

Although the construction will take a significant amount of time to be completed, the Creativity and Innovation District will be one of the school’s state-of-the-art buildings in the future.

While the construction is a jarring sight, most students may not even be aware of what is being built on campus. To shed light on the new building, I spoke with Frank Shushok, the senior associate vice president of Student Affairs to give more details on Virginia Tech’s plans for the new district: