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Thursday, April 16, 2015


Today is the eighth anniversary of tragic events at Virginia Tech. I imagine most in the Commonwealth remember where they were on the morning of April 16, 2007 when they heard about what was happening.

Here at UVa, Days on the Lawn was just getting underway when the news broke. Jack Blackburn, our late dean, shared the news during the welcome session and offered our office's phones to those who needed to call a loved one in Blacksburg. What was going to be a fun, upbeat day on Grounds became very different as we worried about our Hokie friends. The entire UVa community came together to support Virginia Tech in a variety of ways.

Some people insist that UVa and Tech are enemies, but the fact is that we are more like siblings. Of course, a sibling rivalry is evident when we face each other in competition, but siblings support each other, too. Every UVa student who went to high school in the state probably has a former classmate at the other state universities. Faculty and administrators here often know their counterparts at the other schools. We look forward to seeing each other on panels or at conferences. There are many families who have "house divided" stickers and flags because one child goes to UVa and another goes to Tech.

We are Hoos, but we love our Hokie friends.

The longest lasting message ever painted on Beta Bridge, April 17-June 9, 2007

The day the Hokies painted Beta Bridge, June 9, 2007

Last year...