Austin Michelle Cloyd
Austin Michelle Cloyd lived life boldly. She sought out new experiences and embraced those she felt passionate about. She was not afraid of failing because she knew that, even in failure, she would learn from the experience. And she lived her life with purpose—she knew what she wanted to accomplish and she knew how to get there.
Austin was born in Charlotte, N.C., the daughter of Bryan Cloyd, professor of accounting and information systems at Virginia Tech, and Renee Cloyd. Austin, an integral part of her family’s academic adventure, grew up in three university towns (Bloomington, Ind.; Austin, Texas; and Champaign, Ill.) before moving to Blacksburg just before her senior year in high school. She graduated with honors from Blacksburg High School in June 2006.
Austin traveled the world with her family and was interested in politics and international and environmental issues. Austin eagerly anticipated her college experiences, both academic and social. When she arrived at Virginia Tech, she quickly took advantage of every learning opportunity. She was a member of the Honors Program, an officer in Tech’s International Relations Organization, and an active participant in several model United Nations conferences. Austin was pursuing a double major in international studies and French.
A tall girl with flaming red hair and a bright smile, Austin played basketball throughout her middle and high school years. She worked four summers with Appalachia Service Project to help make homes in rural Appalachia warmer, safer, and drier. She loved children and was always eager to work with them as a babysitter, a day camp counselor for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a group leader for the Champaign-Urbana Service Project, and a swimming instructor at Tech’s McComas Hall. She enjoyed reading, scuba diving, music, concerts, college basketball games, travel, and adventures with friends.
Austin had a brilliant mind, a compassionate heart, and an iron will. She was a child who knew love and knew how to love. Austin loved her brother, her parents, and her entire family. She wanted to help others and did so in ways both big and small. Austin’s favorite quote captures much of her outlook on life: “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And if everyone does something, then together we can change the world.”