Thoughts from my friend at VA Tech:

We are Hokies United, we are one Hokie nation, one family, one community untied by Ut Prosim—“That I May Serve.”

The Virginia Tech community has recently been attacked and wounded by horror and affliction that none of us asked for. We were tormented last semester, teased with bomb threats and now deeply wounded by a sword of torment and misery.

Think of Virginia Tech as one body who just got attacked and we’re lying in the hospital bed. We need to use all the energy of our body to heal our wounds. What does a person go through who has just been maliciously attacked? Shock, vexation, confusion, anger, sadness, grief, disbelief, denial, etc. We’re trying to survive and make sense of what happed and gain clarity and perspective. Many questions are asked and some we will never have the answers to.

Some people are at our bedside asking us “shouldn’t have Tech done this or that? Why didn’t someone do their job?” I hope people are not intentionally trying to cause more distress but we need all white blood cells on the wound, we do not need to be wasting energy dealing with more confusion and second guessing.

We need love, healing, comfort, consolation, forgiveness, and service to each other.

The worst thing we can do as a Hokie Nation is to let the toxicity of the second-guessing and doubt to invade our own body and have our own community turn against itself. In a time like this where community members have confusion, vexation, and anger, it’s easy to mistakenly want to place blame. We cannot blame the administration or ourselves; Virginia Tech did NOT ask for this tragedy nor bring it upon herself, it’s not our fault. I believe our administration and police leadership did the best they could, but that is beside the point. Right now we need to band together and support EVERYONE in our Hokie Nation. Please encourage each other to serve one another and come together.

The spirit and love that is found deep within the wisdom of our motto Ut Prosim—“That I May Serve” cover over a multitude of the toxic inundations that could seep into our community.

Let’s also reflect on the wisdom of our 8 Pylons which is what has made us who we are today:
Brotherhood - Human relationships “love”
Duty - Obligation/responsibility to each other
Honor - Respect for each other
Leadership - Positive influence
Loyalty - Faithful to Ut Prosim
Service - Helping others
Sacrifice - Offering of self, carrying each other’s burdens of loss
Ut Prosim - “That I May Serve,” and right now that means, each other.

Right now my Hokie family needs me to be supportive and serve them. I need to support Dr. Steger and the entire leadership and not let anything divide us against one another.

Let’s not be remembered as the massacre university, but the university who embodied her to her motto, Ut Prosim and came together as community. I hope and pray we can serve one another in patience, kindness, goodness, forgiveness, and gentleness in our time of great need and agony.

Please feel free to pass along this message to anyone it might help.

God Bless and Ut Prosim,
Drew Lichtenberger
Virginia Tech, B.S. 2000