Following April 16, 2007, schools, fellow universities, children, community and religious groups, businesses, and other individuals from around the world sent words of comfort and hope to Virginia Tech. These cards, letters, signs, and other handwritten items expressed the world's condolences and gave Virginia Tech a global community of support.
This week, on April 15-16, many of these items will be on display in the Multipurpose Room on the first floor of Newman Library at 560 Drillfield Drive in Blacksburg. The exhibit, “Words of Comfort: An exhibit of letters from around the world in the April 16th Condolence Archives,” is free and open to the public, and will be on display from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
These items represent over 40 countries and every continent, showing the outpouring of support from around the globe. Selected items on display include:
Letters and gifts from students in China;
A photograph of a woman standing at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station sign in Antarctica with a “My heart is with VT” sign;
A poster from a children’s charity group in India;
Letters and drawings from children in Korea;
A plaque from a tree planting in Israel;
Letters from students and university administrators in Nigeria;
Poems from individuals in the United States;
Letters from government officials and ambassadors from across the globe.
The materials are part of the Virginia Tech April 16, 2007 Condolence Archives of the University Libraries.
Campus visitors also left symbols of comfort and signs of support at memorials around Virginia Tech, which were displayed on campus for several months before being gathered and inventoried under the direction of University Archivist Tamara Kennelly. Together, the collection consists of more than 89,000 materials available through Special Collections in Newman Library.
In the summer of 2007, many items were digitally photographed for preservation and to share with the world. A large portion of the Condolence Archives of the University Libraries is now publicly available online.
The upcoming exhibit is organized and curated by Laurel Rozema, processing and special projects archivist for the University Libraries’ Special Collections, and Robin Boucher, arts program director for Student Engagement and Campus Life.
Free parking is available on weekends at the Squires Student Center and Architecture Annex lots along Otey Street. Before 5 p.m. on weekdays, a valid Virginia Tech parking pass is required to park in these lots. Find more parking information online, or call 540-231-3200.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Laurel Rozema at 540-231-9215 during regular business hours prior to the event.
For more information and other expressions of remembrance, please visit the We Remember site.