BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 15, 2007 – To coincide with the start of the new academic year, Virginia Tech will dedicate the memorial to the victims of April 16 on Sunday, August 19 at noon.
At the conclusion of the approximately 30-minute ceremony, President Charles W. Steger will dedicate the new memorial site.
All members of the Virginia Tech community and general public are welcome to attend. Those visiting campus for the memorial service are encouraged to park their vehicles in the parking lots located on Perry Street. While limited visitor and handicap parking spaces are available around the Drillfield, no parking will be available on the Drillfield
Several water stations will be set up on the Drillfield to accommodate guests in anticipation of the warm weather. Grief counselors will also be present in the event guests seek that assistance.
The dedication ceremony will be broadcast live on WDBJ-TV Channel 7 (campus cable channel 7) and can be seen in real time on the university homepage.
The ceremony will begin with the presentation of colors by the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets followed by the playing of the National Anthem by the Highty-Tighties, the corps’ marching band.
Vice President of Student Affairs Zenobia Hikes will follow with opening remarks. Speaking after her will be Adeel Khan, a junior majoring in accounting in the Pamplin College of Business and president of the (undergraduate) Student Government Association; and Joe McFadden, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Dairy Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and president of the Graduate Student Assembly.
Valerie Hardcastle, professor of science and technology in society in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and president of the Faculty Senate, will follow the student leaders with remarks.
Scott Cheatham, a May graduate of Virginia Tech and now a graduate student in mathematics education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will follow with comments on behalf of Hokies United, a student-run service organization that organized the temporary 32 Hokie Stone memorial near the Drillfield viewing stand in the hours following the April 16 tragedy.
After the playing of the Virginia Tech Alma Mater by the Marching Virginians, the university’s marching band, Vice President for Alumni Relations Tom Tillar will speak further on the significance of the memorial.
Steger will provide concluding remarks and will dedicate the memorial. The ceremony will close with the ringing of 32 bells in memory of those who lost their lives on April 16.
The public may view the memorial at the conclusion of the ceremony. It will be closed to viewing Sunday morning in preparation for the dedication ceremony.
The 32 Hokie Stones used in the temporary memorial will be offered to the families of the victims. The 32 permanent stones in the new memorial are etched with the names of those who lost their lives and will be placed in the same order as they were in the temporary memorial.
Those unable to attend the ceremony in person may view it on the Virginia Tech homepage.
In June, Virginia Tech announced that it would construct a memorial to replace the temporary version. The new memorial is located in the same location as the temporary site.
Information for the media is available in the Media Advisory for this event and for the subsequent start of the school year.