The University Steering Committee for the April 16, 2009 Day of Remembrance has recommended that Virginia Tech not hold classes on Thursday, April 16, 2009. Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee and Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger have accepted the recommendation.

“The decision on holding classes on April 16 is both complex and very emotional,” noted McNamee, who again is chairing a 20-person committee charged with planning the events for the 2009 Day of Remembrance. The committee of faculty, staff, students, and family members discussed plans for this year and future years at great length and considered a variety of options.

“We want to honor the lives that were lost in meaningful ways and continue to help and support members of the community who remain deeply affected by this tragedy,” said McNamee. “Many of these individuals are not ready for regular classes on April 16. We also recognize that teaching and learning are the heart and soul of the university and holding classes on April 16 is a special way to honor the faculty and students who were lost or injured. Faculty members and students are joined together in a special way in the classroom. On balance, we felt it would be best to make a transition to a regular class schedule in a gradual manner using the annual calendar as an unexpected, but helpful guide."

On Friday, April 16, 2010, regular classes will also not be held, but the committee is recommending that the day include significant educational activities. A regular class schedule will resume on Monday, April 16, 2012, and on all subsequent class days that fall on April 16. Special remembrance events will always be planned for April 16 regardless of the day of the week.

Although classes will be canceled on the Day of Remembrance in 2009 and 2010, all administrative offices will remain open. As was the case in 2008, supervisors will be encouraged to liberally grant leave to employees to attend events scheduled on those days.

“I expect the April 16, 2009 Day of Remembrance will provide yet another opportunity for this community to come together and continue the process of recovery and renewal,” said Steger. “I hope faculty, staff, and students will see this transition plan as a special opportunity to pursue new and creative learning opportunities."

A specific schedule of events for the 2009 Day of Remembrance will be finalized in the coming weeks, and will be announced through Virginia Tech News once complete.

Members of the April 16, 2009 steering committee are

  • Linsey Barker, graduate student representative, Virginia Tech Board of Visitors;
  • Tom Brown, dean of students;
  • Katelyn Carney, Virginia Tech alumnus, fall 2008, international studies;
  • Debbie Day, associate vice president for alumni relations, and director, Office of Recovery and Support;
  • Arlane Gordon-Bray, undergraduate student representative, Virginia Tech Board of Visitors;
  • Linda Granata, wife of Kevin Granata and research associate, food science and technology;
  • Lori Haas, mother of current student Emily Haas;
  • Kristina Heeger, undergraduate student, international studies;
  • Justin Klein, graduate student, mechanical engineering;
  • Michael Madigan, associate professor, engineering science and mechanics;
  • Emily Mashack, president, Student Government Association;
  • Joe McFadden, president, Graduate Student Assembly;
  • Mark McNamee, senior vice president and provost;
  • Derek O’Dell, undergraduate student, biological sciences;
  • Cathy and Peter Read, parents of Mary Karen Read;
  • Fabrice Teulon, associate professor of French, and member of Faculty Senate;
  • Tom Tucker, architectural planner and Staff Senate president;
  • Megan Armbruster, administrative director; and
  • Kelly Griffin, administrative director.