June 21, 2016
Former Virginia Tech and NFL great Andre Davis pledges gift benefitting Hokie Athletics
Gift to support football program and student-athlete leadership education

BLACKSBURG – Former Virginia Tech and NFL wide receiver André Davis has been using the leadership skills he learned as a Hokie to continue giving back to the community through his 2LiveBeyond Foundation. He is now hoping to help prepare the next generation of Tech student-athletes for life beyond college, as the Virginia Tech Department of Athletics announced an undisclosed philanthropic gift from Davis to help support the Hokies’ Leadership Institute and the football program.

"The leadership abilities that I have learned through the football program and Virginia Tech athletics has been an asset to me ever since I left Blacksburg,” Davis said. “I have learned how to be accountable, responsible, and live a life of integrity. With these attributes, I've been able to apply them to my life, my family, my community service, and to all my life circumstances.”

Davis’ 2LiveBeyond Foundation began in 2014 and focuses on the care of disadvantage children, whether due to illness or poverty, in both the United States and other countries with the mission to teach the leveraging spheres of influence with the message: “2 Live Beyond ourselves so others may dream beyond their circumstances.”

“André was the standard we tried to set at Virginia Tech,” retired head football coach Frank Beamer said. “He was nationally recognized for both his academic and athletic achievements during his time here. I could not be any more proud of the way he represented himself, his family and our university and the way he continues to do so today.”

The Leadership Institute began in 2011 behind the direction of Assistant Athletics Director of Student-Athlete Development Danny White. Since that time, leadership development opportunities have been offered on a voluntary basis to all 22 of Virginia Tech’s varsity teams. White, along with other departmental staff, have averaged 70 workshops per academic year with various teams. Through the continual support of head coaches and student-athletes, the leadership development opportunities have been more ingrained through the creation of the Leadership Institute.

The institute has been comprised of two main components, including Leadership Culture, a speaker-series designed to expose the student-athletes to high-level concepts on leadership. The second factor is the Global Sports Program, which offers student-athletes a for-credit study abroad opportunity geared toward those who wish to better understand the positive and humanitarian role sport can play in international development and society.

“Over the years, I've been very conscientious about the ways to efficiently and effectively support the people and the programs that have impacted me,” Davis said. “Virginia Tech was always on my mind. I just wanted to find a way that my gift could have the greatest impact. My family and I would like to see the student-athletes of Virginia Tech live up to the motto of Ut Prosim (That I may serve). So my hope is that our gift will help our student-athletes to be strong-minded, passionate, influential, and determined to make a difference in our world whether it be through sport or their particular area of studies."

“We are extremely thankful to André and Janelle for their generous gift and continued commitment and support of Virginia Tech Athletics, our student-athletes, and our football program,” Athletics Director Whit Babcock said. “The legacy he left on the football field at the college level and in the NFL for nine years is only surpassed by the impact he continues to have in the lives of others. André embodies our department’s core values of integrity, honor, excellence, and service through his life, actions, and work with his Foundation. He is an amazing representative of Virginia Tech. He speaks passionately about the profound impact that the student-athlete experience at Virginia Tech had on his life. As an alumnus and former player, his financial gift as well as his gift of his time to help pay it forward to today’s Hokies means so much on many levels.”

Davis caught 103 passes for 1,986 yards and 18 touchdowns during his four seasons (1998-2001) with the Hokies. In 1999, Davis set the school season record for receiving yards with 962, helping Tech to the national championship game. On the track, Davis set four Tech career marks in the sprints. He won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the Atlantic-10 Outdoor Championships in 1998 and defended both titles in 1999 and 2000. In addition, Davis won four indoor championships during those years. A second-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2002 NFL Draft, he became one of the NFL’s top kickoff return men. In 2012, Davis was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame and was chosen as the Virginia Tech Representative in 2013 to be an ACC Legend.

Davis was as much of a success outside of the field of competition as a four-time pick to the BIG EAST All-Academic football team and earning first-team Academic All-America honors in 2000. Davis received the prestigious NCAA Top Eight Award and the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Student Athlete (NFF National Scholar Athlete) Award. At both award ceremonies, he was chosen on behalf of his peers, to speak as their representative. He also received the third annual Sporting News Radio Socrates Award, given to a male athlete who best embodies the Socrates Creed “Mens sana in corpore sano” or “A sound mind in a sound body.” Davis graced the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in on Dec. 6, 1999. Davis and wife Janelle have four children: Daylen, Bryce, Laila and Noelle and the family currently resides in Delaware.

For updates on Virginia Tech Athletics, follow the Hokies on Twitter

HokieSports Shop