University Distinguished Professor and poet Nikki Giovanni has been named the Class of 2020 class ring namesake.

Selected by each class, the ring namesake is an honorary role.

“We are pleased to honor Professor Giovanni as our class ring namesake,” said ring design chair Georgia Matthews, of Haymarket, Virginia, a rising junior majoring in marketing management in the Pamplin College of Business. “In meeting her, even with all of her many accomplishments, it’s clear that she enjoys working with students.”

A renowned poet, Giovanni is being honored for her longtime service and support to the university. As author of more than 30 books and recipient of numerous awards, Giovanni is a visionary ambassador of her craft and of Virginia Tech. A devoted teacher, Giovanni encourages students of all ages to express themselves creatively through writing and appreciates “being around the young people and learning about their lives and challenges.”

Beginning with the Class of 1991, the class ring design process has included the recognition of a distinguished Virginia Tech alumnus, alumna, university president, or faculty member or administrator as ring collection namesake. Recent namesakes have included Tom Tillar ’69 for the Class of 2019 and former head football coach Frank Beamer ’69 for the Class of 2018.

Since 1993, Alumni Relations has provided sponsorship and advising to class programs, which includes the class ring tradition.

Written by Laura Wedin