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The Janie Hoge Memorial Scholarship Fund

Essex Finney, a your Black cadet, is pictured in white dress uniform walking in front of Janie Hoge, anolder Black woman in a white dress. They are standing in the sun, outside in front of a brick building.
Janie Hoge (right) looks on as Essex Finney '59 walks in front of the Hoges' home at 306 East Clay Street in Blacksburg. Photo courtesy Virginia Tech Special Collections.

I had no idea that I would have to live off campus in order for me to attend school there, that I would have to walk to class every day and walk back for lunch, then back for my afternoon classes. My parents drove off and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. But Mrs. Hoge was a motherly type. She made sure I was comfortable. They tried to make my life as homey as possible.

~ Irving Peddrew, first Black student to enroll at Virginia Tech

Janie Hoge

From 1953 to 1959, Janie Hoge and her husband William, housed eight Black Virginia Tech students in their home at 306 Clay Street. At this time, segregation prevented the students from participating in any non-academic amenities, including living or eating on campus.

Every day, Janie prepared three meals, cleaned their bedrooms, washed and ironed their clothing, and provide them with a safe, caring and supportive home. Partially due to her efforts and their own fortitude, these students would achieve success.

Mrs. Hoge passed away in June 1960, a year after finishing this great sacrificial and honorable mission to ensure these students had a 'home away from home' while attending Virginia Tech.

The Scholarship Fund

Honor Mrs. Hoge’s legacy by giving to the Janie Hoge Memorial Scholarship. Our goal is to raise $100,000. This endowment will support students in perpetuity.

Because of the significance of 1953 (the first year Janie Hoge housed Irving Peddrew, the first Black student), we are encouraging gifts in the amount of $1,953.00 ($162.50 a month) or $19,530.

All gift amounts, however, are welcome.

A Black woman with short hair stands in the sun wearing a dark, knee-length dress, her hands clasped behind her back. The photograph is black and white, grainy, clearly old.
Mrs. Janie Hoge

Janie Hoge

Memorial Scholarship Fund

GOAL: $100,000


The Hoge Legacy: the first Black students to attend Virginia Tech

Irving Peddrew

1st Black Enrollee
1953 - 1956
Hampton, VA

Received an honorary degree from Virginia Tech and a number of other honors, including the naming of a residence hall in his honor.

Lindsay Cherry

1954 - 1957
Norfolk, VA

Joined the U.S. Army and later retired after a successful career with the U.S. Postal Service. Cherry is the author of several books, including one on his experiences as one of the first Black students at Virginia Tech and the legacy of Janie Hoge. 

Floyd Wilson

1954 - 1957
Norfolk, VA

Joined the U.S. Air Force. 

Matthew Winston

1954 - 1959 
Norfolk, VA

Had a distinguished career as a researcher for NASA, serving over 35 years. Winston and his son, Matthew Winston ('90), contributed significantly to the establishment of the Black Cultural Center here at Virginia Tech. 

Charlie Yates

1st Black Graduate
1954 - 1959
Norfolk, VA

Earned a master's degree from Caltech and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. He helped launch the engineering program at Hampton University. Yates served on the Board of Visitors and taught in Virginia Tech's mechanical aerospace engineering departments. A residence hall is named in his honor.

Essex Finney

1956 - 1959
Richmond, VA

Went on to earn a master's degree from Penn State and a Ph.D. from Michigan State. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Finney had a distinguish career as a research scientist and administrator with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Robert Wells

1959 - 1965
Norfolk, VA

A member of the Class of 1963 and graduate of1965 with a degree from the college ofengineering. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets.

James Whitehurst

1959 - 1963 
Portsmouth, VA

Went on to serve as the first African American to serve on Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors in 1970, earned a lawdegree from University of Virginia, and served as a fighterpilot in the Vietnam War.

A conversation between Lindsay Cherry and Billy Cook ('85) on the life of Janie Hoge

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On the sacrifices Mrs. Hoge made

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On her relationships with the students she housed

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On the Janie Hoge Memorial Scholarship

"The real story is about the heart and soul of this great lady who gave everything to provide a sanctuary for these young trailblazing students seeking a better life for self and all. . . there will never be another Janie Hoge

.... we meet one in a lifetime."

~ Lindsay Cherry