HokieBird migrates from Arlington; finds welcoming home at Northern Virginia Center

Hokie Bird HokieBird finds new nest in Falls Church

After a year of nesting at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington, the HokieBird has migrated to Falls Church where it will remain for the next year as the center prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary at the Northern Virginia Center (NVC).

"We're thrilled to have the HokieBird with us for the academic year,” said Kenneth Wong, professor and associate dean of the Graduate School. “And we are very appreciative to National Capital Region Operations for bringing it from Arlington to Falls Church."

Susan Merten, assistant to the associate dean, was equally as enthusiastic about the bird’s arrival. “I’m delighted that the HokieBird has landed at the NVC!” she said.

A similar sentiment came from Roxanne Paul, administrative program specialist in the College of Engineering, who offered, "It’s so nice the Hokie Bird flew to the Northern Virginia Center to roost for a while!"

And a group of graduate research assistants couldn’t resist a chorus of “Go Hokies.”

During its year in Arlington, many visitors were intrigued by the HokieBird’s presence in the research center lobby, said Michelle Bradley, site supervisor at the lobby desk.

“Often, families coming out of the two lobby level restaurants would ask me to snap photos of them with the statue,” Bradley said.

Since it left the building last week, a number of people have inquired as to its whereabouts. She has assured them that the HokieBird is safe and happy in its new home.

The National Capital Region commissioned the five foot statue from the Gobble de Art public art project, sponsored by the Blacksburg Partnership Foundation. Each Gobble de Art bird is individually cast in bonded co-polymer resin and then hand-painted with meticulous detail in true Virginia Tech colors.

Local Blacksburg artist Gwynn Hamilton designed it specifically for the National Capital Region, incorporating the themes that faculty and staff voted for through an email survey. The National Capital Region logo, buildings in the seven region locations, the list of locations, the metro, and Washington, D.C. monuments – including the Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial – are all depicted on the statue.

Every HokieBird statue must be licensed by Virginia Tech. See the gallery of birds here.

Posted August 23, 2016