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In Memoriam - Tragedy at Virginia Tech

The outpouring of sympathy, support and desire to "do something" has been overwhelming
in this terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech, affecting and touching people, literally, around the world.
It has been especially close to the green industry with the loss of Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, 49,
wife of Dr. Jerzy Nowak, who is the Virginia Tech Horticulture Department Head. She died with
at least ten of her French class students at the end of the rampage.

There has been a
Jocelyne Couture-Nowak Memorial Garden Fund established through
the Virginia Tech Hahn Horticulture Garden at http://www.hort.vt.edu/ .
If you'd like to contact Dr. Jerzy Nowak, contact the VNLA office at info@vnla.org
Virginia Tech has established a
Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund at http://www.vt.edu/tragedy/memorial_fund.php 
(See additional info below.)

The Virginia Tech's Architect's Office is also developing plans for a
permanent memorial
with a tree grove or other appropriate landscape component, but this will require some time
to create an appropriate memorial.
 
Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund
April 16, 2007, will be remembered as one of the darkest days in the history of the Virginia Tech
community and the world beyond. To remember and honor the victims of those tragic events,
the university has established the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund to aid in the healing process and
generate financial support.
The fund will be used to cover expenses including but not limited to:
   Grief counseling
   Memorials
   Communication expenses
   Comfort expenses
   Incidental needs
In the wake of this tragedy, we are confident that Hokie Spirit will only grow stronger and more resilient.
We thank you for your continued support.
 Transcript of Nikki Giovanni's Convocation address  April 17, 2007.
We are Virginia Tech. 
We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. 
We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning. 
We are Virginia Tech. 
We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, 
and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again. 
 We are Virginia Tech. 
 We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, 
but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, 
neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, 
neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, 
neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, 
neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home 
his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. 
No one deserves a tragedy.
We are Virginia Tech.
The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands 
to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. 
We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. 
We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. 
We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.
We are the Hokies.
We will prevail.
We will prevail.
We will prevail.
We are Virginia Tech. 
 

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