What is a Hokie?
Hokie is popularly known as the castrated turkey mascot of the Virginia Tech. However, if you try to closely look into the comprehensive history and background of this term, it has no relation whatsoever with the infamous turkey. In fact, this word has ‘no’ meaning at all. It was first used by someone who won the cheer writing competition in Virginia Tech named O.M. Stull during the school year 1896.
The prize at stake for the cheer making contest is $5 and this was bagged by Stull who gave the Virginia Tech a new spirit yell after its original college name was changed. Hokie is the first three words which were mentioned in the spirit yell and with the new cheer for the university entirely new college colors are likewise desired. The original and initial colors of the college are gray and black which are associated with prison uniforms than athletic ones. Therefore a committee was formed and eventually made a crucial selection of Chicago maroon and burnt orange color combination. This was officially used in a game of football in the year 1896 against Virginia Tech’s opponent, Roanoke College.
Hokie was also used with the term ‘Hokie Bird’ which is the official mascot of the university. This was the eventual result of the dispute and confusion with the term ‘Gobbler’ which was first coined to inspire football players or to refer to their group in the early 1900s. In 1970s, the football coach of Virginia Tech at the time started encouragement and promotion of the term hokie.
It became even more popular and well accepted by the people especially when the turkey mascot or in its initial character, a snood-cardinal in maroon hues won the contest and title for the national mascot competitions. Thus, the Hokie bird was created.