The following is a letter from Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee.

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the third anniversary of April 16, 2007, several commemorative events have been planned to remember and honor the members of our community who lost their lives that tragic day. Much like our past anniversaries, commemorative events on April 16, 2010, are intended to provide an opportunity for the Virginia Tech community to pause and reflect upon an event that transcends our understanding. In this respect, there will be no classes on April 16, 2010, and faculty, staff and students are encouraged to participate as fully as possible in the various events planned for the 2010 Day of Remembrance. Full details of the day’s activities can be found on the dedicated website www.weremember.vt.edu, noting that a special emphasis this year is being placed on academic contributions of students.

In the past few weeks, Cook Counseling Center has observed an increase in the number of students using their facilities. In support of our students’ emotional well-being, we recommend that faculty and staff be sensitive to their overall needs. Additionally, it would be helpful if faculty members take steps to accommodate individual students needs. If necessary, please use the online tool developed by the Dean of Students Office for faculty and staff members to communicate concerns about students in distress. Information on how to use the reporting system can be found on the website www.dos.vt.edu/dosreportsystem.htm. Counseling services will be available at several selected locations across campus on April 16, and I also encourage faculty and staff to seek personal support through our benefits programs as needed.

In the spirit of remembering and honoring the vibrant lives of the 32 individuals taken from us three years ago, I am pleased that our community continues to respect the purpose of this special day. I have complete confidence that the faculty will support our students and use good judgment in helping them cope with any challenges.

On a lighter note, I began my training for the 3.2-Mile Run in Remembrance this past weekend and I look forward to running far behind many of you on April 16.

Mark G. McNamee
Senior Vice President and Provost