An enthusiastic crowd of Virginia Tech students, faculty and out-of-towners cheered, waved their arms and sang along tonight at a concert for the Blacksburg school.
The concert was conceived by rocker Dave Matthews in the days after the mass shootings in April that left 33 people dead.
Fans, many clad in the school colors of maroon and orange, filled most of the 50,000 available seats at Lane Stadium and intermittently yelled "Let's go, Hokies" between acts.
In addition to The Dave Matthews Band, the performers are contemporary musician John Mayer, hip-hop artist Nas and country singer Phil Vassar.
The performers are all donating their time, and each student, faculty and staff member was offered a free ticket. Night classes were canceled. Hovis says families of those killed were invited.
Those with free tickets had the option to buy one as well for $40, and 5,000 tickets were offered to the public at $65 apiece.
Officials say the ticket sales would help cover Tech's expenses of about $1 million to put on the concert.