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Guynn family, University Honors students set to raise $100,000 for Katrina relief


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 23, 2005 – The Guynn family is no stranger to Virginia Tech. Now, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the family hopes to use their Virginia Tech relationships to raise funds for the American Red Cross and hurricane relief.

The late Jack Guynn, who was mayor of Galax, Va., and owner of Guynn Furniture Companies, was a member of the Virginia Tech Class of 1950. His son Jay has been an avid Hokie football fan since he was born, and is friends with some of the coaches. Jay’s grandparents were friends of Coach Frank Beamer’s parents in the Hillsville area. Jay’s son Jack is a freshman on campus, and his wife Becky, a fine arts graduate of Longwood College, is an artist with a charitable heart.

The family never misses a Virginia Tech football game and went the Sugar Bowl in 2000. Becky painted a New Orleans’ French Quarter scene, copies of which Coach Beamer and some of his coaches have hanging in their offices and homes. Now that Katrina has so devastated New Orleans, Becky thought her painting might be able to generate funds for the American Red Cross.

With help from the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and University Bookstore, Becky teamed with the University Honors Program whereby honors students will carry out a service project to benefit the Katrina relief efforts they hope will raise $100,000. A benevolent printer is providing 1,000 signed copies of the Hokie/New Orleans print that honors students will make available for a cash or check donation of $100 to the American Red Cross. The effort to raise money for people impacted by the hurricane began with discussions the Main Campbell Honors House and spread to include students from all parts of University Honors.

At Saturday’s game with Georgia Tech, honors students sold prints outside the campus bookstore. They also staffed a second table outside the Career Services Building on Washington Street, near Lane Stadium.

University Honors is an academic program for students seeking an education of distinction. There are six options for students to gain a superior education—all requiring that the student go “above and beyond” the requirements for a degree. They regularly bring distinction to the university by gaining major national scholarships such as Rhodes, Marshall, Goldwater, Udall, and Truman. With the assistance of 400 some faculty members, the 1500 students in Honors bring All-American distinction to Virginia Tech.

For more information call University Honors at (540) 231-6804 or check the Hokies United website, http://www.hokiesunited.org.vt.edu.