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Yankees Make Largest Donation to Tech’s Memorial Fund

by Anthony Della Calce
Alumni Liaison
May 24, 2007

The New York Yankees presented Virginia Tech with a $1 million donation to the Hokie Spirit Memorial fund before their game against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. It was the largest single donation the university has received for the memorial fund.

Derek Jeter, captain of the Yankees, presented Virginia Tech president Dr. Charles Steger with the check in a pre-game ceremony. Steger was accompanied on the field by Vince Houston, captain of the Virginia Tech Police Department; Jason Dominczak and Matthew Johnson, members of the of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad; and Jim Weaver, director of Virginia Tech athletics.

Jeter, general manager Brian Cashman, team president Randy Levine and chief operating officer Lonn Trost represented the Yankees on the field.

The men looked on as a memorial video was shown on the large scoreboard in center field as part of the ceremony.

After the presentation of the check, Steger threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. Steger and the other Virginia Tech representatives all wore Yankee caps emblazoned with the VT logo on the side. The Yankees wore the same caps during the game and Posada also had the VT logo on his catching gear’s chest protector.

Steger said he spoke to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, the man responsible for writing the check, shortly before the ceremony. In a statement released by Steinbrenner, he said: “The events that took place this spring in Virginia have deeply affected us all. But the Virginia Tech community has shown great spirit and resolve during this difficult time, and the New York Yankees are proud to join so many others in supporting the healing process.”

During the game, Steger visited with Yankee broadcasters Michael Kay, Paul O’Neill and John Flaherty, who called the game for the YES network. Steger expressed his gratitude to the Yankees organization and said the university continues to work through the healing process. Steger also said that fall enrollment for the incoming freshman class was up from a year ago, which is a good sign as the university continues to move forward.

Furthermore, Steger said the Yankees are the only sports team to contribute money to the memorial fund, which was established to help the families of victims of the April 16, shootings. And the Yankees plans to help the university are not finished.

The Yankees said they plan to play an exhibition game against the Virginia Tech baseball team in 2008. The plan is to play the game in the Blacksburg area but a location and date have not yet been determined. In all likelihood, the game will be played during the Yankees spring training season next year.

Comments (9)

Living in the city of fear and sadness on 911 and experiencing the effects of the world community joining together in shared pain and hope, the Yankees understand and show their compassion for the VT family with this generous donation. We are all hokies! Go Yanks!

Deb | May 24, 2007 11:25 PM

It has been just under six weeks and it's nice to see that the love and support are still flowing in. Thanks Yanks. We will not forget. RIP Juls.

Friend in NJ | May 25, 2007 1:58 PM

This is unbelievable. Everyone in the Tech community, students, alumni, friends, faculty, should be thanking the Yankees for their extraordinary generosity. WOW!

Hokie84 | May 29, 2007 7:43 PM

YES! This is wonderful! I love the Yanks and Jeter =) Hokie for LIFE!

Nickole Hokie '02 | June 2, 2007 2:47 AM

Yes it was very nice of the Yankees to contribute to the fund, established for the “victims” families. However, where was the family of the only New York resident slain that morning at VT? Were they even considered, or invited…it’s nice to see that Steger is doing very well. Amazing!

Chris | June 7, 2007 7:41 AM

I'm as much of a SOX fan as I am a Hokie, but when things like this happen, I just have to put my rivalry aside and say, "Thanks, Yankees."

...Yeah, that will probably be the last time I say that though!"


Annoymous Hokie | June 8, 2007 9:28 AM

Anyone know how to get a Yankee/VT hat? Would love to get one for my husband for his first father's day. He's a die-hard Yankees fan and an alum from VT. He is proud to see so much support in the wake of this tragedy.

wife of an alumnus | June 12, 2007 1:39 PM

To Wife of Alum...I just spoke to Yankee Stadium store.
The caps the Yanks wore the night they honored VT were made just for the night with a patch. Unfortunately they are NOT selling them. The man I spoke to told me they have received many, many calls but said I'd have to make it myself to get my hubby one for Dad's day!
Maybe we should start a Yankee/VT memorial hat business!

Deb | June 13, 2007 9:08 PM