It’s Who You Know In the College of Engineering

The tagline for my VT KnowledgeWorks member company, Handshake 2.0, is “It’s still who you know.”  Director Jim Flowers was kind enough to write about my tagline in his blog, So you want to launch a business…

“It’s who you know” offline and “It’s still who you know” online rewarded Inside VT KnowledgeWorks with the latest news from Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering.

Steven Mackay, College of Engineering Communications Coordinator, Virginia Tech I met Steven Mackay, College of Engineering Communications Coordinator, at the visit of Google CEO Eric Schmidt to Blacksburg, Virginia, October 23, 2008.

Building anticipation during the wait for Schmidt’s arrival and all the stardust of the arrival of local VIPs addled my memory.

When Steven and I met, we hurriedly exchanged business cards in the lobby of the Lyric Theater.

I must have forgotten that.

When we were in our seats reserved in the Lyric for the media, I asked him for a business card.

“Didn’t I already give you one?” he asked, confused.

“Oh, no,” I said, with complete confidence.  “We were just about to exchange when Dean Richard Benson arrived.”

Magnanimously, Steven gave me another business card.

Finding his address easily from my plenitude of his business cards, I sent Steven an e-mail with an apologetic subject line, “You’re right–you gave me two business cards.”  I asked for the top three cool things going on in the engineering school.

With his consistently generous spirit, Steven sent me four cool things, not three.

I’ll post the four cool things happening in the Virginia Tech College of Engineering over the next few days.

And thanks, Steven.  Whether offline or on, you’re a very gracious “who” to know.

Dorothy Torgersen, Paul Torgersen, Eric Schmidt and Richard Benson

Dorothea and Paul Torgersen, Eric Schmidt and Richard Benson at the Lyric Theater
Photograph by Steven Mackay

Cutline from Steven Mackay:

The Lyric Theater hosted a town-hall style meeting Thursday [October 23, 2008] with Mark Warner, former Virginia governor and senatorial candidate, and Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google who was raised in Blacksburg. The theater was packed full, and hundreds were turned away, as Warner and Schmidt discussed far-reaching topics such as energy innovation and technology in America. Schmidt funded the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean's Chair of Engineering with a $2 million gift in 2006. The Torgersens were neighbors to Schmidt while he grew up. Torgersen was president of Virginia Tech from 1993 until 2000 and dean of its College of Engineering from 1970 to 1990. College of Engineering Dean Richard Benson holds this position. Pictured left to right are Dorothy Torgersen, Paul Torgersen, Eric Schmidt and Richard Benson.

Steven Mackay
College of Engineering Communications Coordinator
University Relations
Virginia Tech
215 Femoyer Hall
Blacksburg, Va. 24061
Phone: (540) 231-4787
Fax: (540) 231-3031
[email protected]


  1. Anne –

    I use a service called Dropcard for moments just like this ( Maybe I don't have my cards on me, or I don't want to hand out "just another business card."

    The way it works is really simple … I'm out somewhere and meet someone that I want to give a card to. I ask for their email address, then send a text message to the Dropcard number – which is saved in my contacts list so I don't have to remember it – and include the recipient's email address that they've just given to me. Within seconds, my business card information is emailed directly to the recipient.

    GREAT service … and free.

  2. VERY interesting, Jeremy! Thank you!

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