The answer leads all the way back to 1896 when Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College changed its name to Virginia Polytechnic Institute. With the change came the necessity for writing a new cheer and a contest for such a purpose was held by the student body.
Senior O.M. Stull won first prize for his
"Hokie" yell (Old Hokie Cheer below)
which is still used today. Later, when asked if "Hokie" had any
special meaning, Stull explained the word was solely the product of his
imagination and was used only as an attention-getter for his yell. It soon became
a nickname for all Tech teams and for those people loyal to Tech athletics.
The official university school colors - Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange - also were
introduced in 1896. The colors were chosen by a committee because they made a
'unique combination' not worn elsewhere at the time. The official definition of "hokie" is "a loyal Virginia Tech Fan".
The bird is a "HokieBird" which has evolved from a turkey. Virginia Tech teams were once called the "gobblers"!
Read more on the origins of the HokieBird...
"Old Hokie" Cheer
- Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
- Tech, Tech, VPI
- Sol-a-rex, Sol-a-rah
- Poly Tech Vir-gin-ia
- Ray rah VPI
- Team! Team! Team!
- Techmen, we're Techmen, with spirit true and faithful,
- Backing up our teams with hopes undying;
- Techmen, Oh, Techmen, we're out to win today,
- Showing pep and life with which we're trying;
- V.P., old V.P., you know our hearts are with you
- In our luck which never seems to die;
- Win or lose, we'll greet you with a glad returning,
- You're the pride of V.P.I.
- Just watch our men so big and active
- Support the Orange and Maroon. Let's go Techs.
- We know our ends and backs are stronger,
- With winning hopes, we fear defeat no longer.
- To see our team plow through the line, boys.
- Determined now to win or die:
- So give a Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi,
- Rae, Ri, old V.P.I.
- Second Verse (seldom used)
- Fight, men, oh, fight, men, we're going to be the champions
- Adding to our list another victory;
- Football or baseball, the games in which we star,
- They're the sports which made old VP famous.
- Hold'em, just hold'em, you know the Corps' behind you
- Watching every movement that you make.
- Winning games was nothing for our teams before you --
- Keep the "rep" for VP's sake.
VPI Victory March
You've seen Mountaineers fumble,
You've been in Hurricanes' eye,
And you know 'ol Syracuse
Has learned the force of Hokie-Hi.
Worthy teams from all around,
Like Hoos from UVA,
Know a winning team awaits them;
Victory is ours today.
VPI Victory March
You have seen the Hoyas Tumble,
You have made the indians cry;
Any you know the Army mule
Once took a kick at V.P.I.
Worthy teams from Lexington
Have fought with all their might;
And now it's time to show the world
That victory is ours tonight!
Sing praise to Alma Mater dear,
For V.P.I. we'll ever cheer;
Come lift your voices, swell the song,
Our loyalties to her belong.
So stand and sing, all hail to thee.
V.P., all hail to thee.
The Orange and Maroon you see,
That's fighting on to victory;
Our strife will not be long this day,
For glory lies within this fray.
All loyal sons and daughters, one,
We raise our banner to the sun;
Our motto brings a spirit true,
That we may ever serve you.