Virginia Tech Convocation: April 22, 2007
Ian Oliver, university chaplain
"Tonight almost a week after the events we gather to do what a university community does best: to reflect on the meaning of these events and where they point us in the future. We remember each of the 33 young people and professors and mourn the suffering and the loss. We gather to honor them with our presence."
Mary DeCredico, provost
"Tonight we come together at the heart of this beautiful campus on this phenomenal evening with confidence and hope because we know the resilience of great communities as we have seen at Virginia Tech day after day. The Hokie community has exemplified courage, resolve, and compassion for all of us."
Paula Bryden, Office of Communications and parent of Virginia Tech student
"It's not hard to talk about things you love. I am blessed to be a Hokie mom living in Bison country. I've had the love and support of the Bison community to build my bridge between the two 'burgs - Lewis and Blacksburg. It doesn't get much better than that. Welcome to the Hokie nation. We do connect."
"God bless our Hokies and all those in the extended communities who have reached out with love in their hearts to help us try to heal."
Senior Katie Urosevich
"As evidenced by your attendance tonight, there is strength in numbers. We may have come here as students, administrators, faculty, and community members, but our purpose is one: to support the Virginia Tech community. So, in fact, tonight, we are all Hokies."
"The only path to take from this Quad is forward. As a generation, we've witnessed Columbine, 9/11, and now Virginia Tech. We will always hold these tragedies in our mind, but we refuse to be defined by them. Instead, we continue to gain strength from them. Strength in ourselves. Strength to reach out to others. And strength to heal and hope."
Steven Shooter, associate professor of mechanical engineering
"Students don't realize that as professors we learn a lot from our students. And I learned a valuable lesson from (a former student at Virginia Tech). I learned about the community among individuals and connections with community. But most important of all, I learned the power that each and every one of us can wield with three simple words: How are you?"
Eric Mazur, associate professor of religion
"What can I tell you about the events that have transpired? What meaning can there possibly be?"
"We must remember the beauty of the world or we will be overcome by ugliness. We must remember the love in the world or we will be overcome by hate. We must remember the joy in the world or we will be overcome by grief. We must laugh and love and take care of ourselves and each other even as we remember and say goodbye."