A Message from President Mooney about the Virginia Tech Tragedy

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A Message from President Mooney about the Virginia Tech Tragedy

To all members of the Saint Mary’s College community,

At this time of sadness and shock, there are no words to express how we feel or that properly respond to the tragic incident at Virginia Tech. We offer our thoughts and prayers to all members of the Virginia Tech family and the surrounding community. We mourn the unnecessary loss of life and recognize that this event has changed the lives of many and perhaps how we ourselves look at the world.

As we reflect on this event, it is natural to consider the safety of our own campus. Saint Mary’s is a secure place, but that does not mean we have been lulled into complacency. We continually review and update our safety policies and procedures. The most recent information can be found here. In addition, we have an active Emergency Planning Committee focused on safety and communication. This group recently participated in a problem-solving exercise designed to anticipate a variety of potential emergency scenarios and plan for them. I personally participated in that exercise and found it valuable. Certainly, the group will now consider and incorporate lessons learned from the events at Virginia Tech. We must also remember that College safety and security is everyone’s responsibility. We ask members of our community to be aware of their surroundings and report anything suspicious to College Security at 284-5000.

We also recognize that a tragedy such as this can impact individuals on a very private and personal level. The Counseling Center and Campus Ministry are resources for those who wish to sort through the tragedy on a more individual basis. Campus Ministry is working in concert with our students to provide spiritual direction and kinship to carry us through these difficult days. Many of you attended Tuesday’s service in Regina Chapel to pray and write your thoughts and condolences on cards to be sent to the Virginia Tech community. In addition to the prayer service, a memorial Mass will be held on Wednesday, April 18 at 9 p.m. in the Holy Spirit Chapel of Le Mans Hall to remember those who have died and to pray for healing for those impacted by this tragedy.

From the depths of this terrible tragedy, we believe that there is good in the world and that senseless acts such as this will be rare. We draw on the strength of our community and our faith to forgive those who create such pain and chaos. And, above all, we grieve for those whose lives were lost and those whose lives will never be the same because of this tragedy.

President Carol Ann Mooney
April 17, 2007