University Statement on Offensive Photographs

The history of our nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia has a common storyline starting with slavery and segregation, and moving toward our ultimate goal of treating everyone with respect and cherishing the strength that comes from diversity of identities and lived experiences. We, as a society, are somewhere in the middle of this process.

Virginia Tech, like so many colleges and universities across the nation, struggles with disturbing moments along that storyline, some of which have been recorded in our own yearbooks through offensive photographs. Regardless of the time, context, or intent, photographs showing the use of blackface or other forms of racial stereotypes or other offensive content is hurtful to members of our community. As a community, we must stand together and reject the legacy they represent and embrace our commitment to our Principles of Community. 

As a public institution of higher education, we are preparing the next generation for the world they will one day lead. As a community of Hokies committed to Ut Prosim, we must anticipate and model the principles of a community that we desire to become, and that we hope will be the world our students will help to create.

University Statement: April 9, 2019