The following is a statement by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger on the passing of George Steinbrenner.

We are saddened at the passing of George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees. While Mr. Steinbrenner will certainly be remembered for his almost four decade long ownership of the baseball marquee Yankees and their seven World Series rings, we will remember him for his graciousness and generosity after the tragedy of April 16, 2007.

He reached out to our community in its time of need and suffering. He donated $1 million to the nascent Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund – a spontaneous fund of donations ultimately totaling more than $10 million. He invited the Virginia Tech Police and Rescue Squad departments and me to Yankee Stadium in May 2007 lifting the spirits of Virginia Tech Hokies around the world.

And he sent THE New York Yankees to Blacksburg in March 2008 for an exhibition game against the Hokies. While that match was no match, it exemplified Steinbrenner’s huge heart and passion for helping others ….and helping this community to heal.