MBC Announces Community Gathering for VA Tech Victims

Community Gathering: Friday, April 20, 11:55 a.m., Cannon Hill, Mary Baldwin College

This has been a dark week, darkest of all for the Virginia Tech family but affecting us all. The strands connecting us to each other extend outward from our immediate circle to embrace all of humanity, creating a web of community that stands in bright and living contrast to the darkness. We grieve together, and together we will heal.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has declared Friday, April 20 a statewide day of mourning. He has asked that communities in Virginia and throughout the nation hold simultaneous ceremonies and participate in prayer services, beginning with the ringing of bells at noon.

At Mary Baldwin, we will join with our fellow citizens throughout the Commonwealth at the appointed time. Just before noon, we will gather around the flagpole on Cannon Hill, overlooking the beautiful city of Staunton and surrounded by vistas of mountains just beginning to green with the spring. We will stand together at one of the highest points in the area as the church bells of Staunton ring out around us.

All are welcome. We especially invite alumnae/i, friends, and members of the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro community to join us.

Ours will be a simple coming together in remembrance. After the ringing of bells, we will observe moments of silence and remembrance followed by a benediction. Many who would normally be on campus will not be here, as tomorrow marks the last day of exams for the spring semester and the beginning of pre-May Term break. Many other members of the MBC community work and study through one of our regional centers. Wherever you are, I invite you to stop what you are doing at noon for a moment of silence, with colleagues or on your own.

Campus Resources Available for Coping With Virginia Tech Tragedy
April 17, 2007

As the Mary Baldwin College community struggles to try to understand the tragedy at Virginia Tech, we want you each to know that campus resources are available to you now and throughout the remainder of the year. These offices will assist with counseling and support:

Counseling: Dr. Nadia Kuley, 887-7095

Office of the Chaplain: Pat Hunt, and Kristen Barner, 887-7044

Student Life Office: 887-7221

You may drop in at the Health Center or the Student Life Office anytime throughout the day and may schedule after hours appointments. We are grateful for the support of our own community at this difficult time. My thoughts are with you.

Campus Moment of Silence and Security Update from President Pamela Fox
April 17, 2007

In the aftermath of the yesterday’s devastating violence at Virginia Tech, I take this opportunity to remind our own community of the importance of being prepared for emergency. Mary Baldwin College has extensive safety and security procedures in place. Our standing crisis management team evaluates and acts upon any threats or potential threats of violence on our campus. We continually monitor our security programs.

Mary Baldwin’s standard procedure in the case of violence or danger on campus is to respond immediately in concert with local emergency services. We rely on the Staunton Police Department — located less than a block from campus — for armed response. Our relationship is a close and collaborative one. Also, whenever there is imminent danger, MBC’s policy is to immediately notify the college community using multiple channels, including but not necessarily limited to mass e-mails and voicemail. We include parents and alumnae/i as quickly as possible.

I have great confidence in our security personnel and crisis management team. However, it is vital that we learn from the experience of others. Yesterday’s events are a catalyst for ongoing conversations at the highest level to ensure that we are doing everything possible to prepare for the worst, while we work and hope for the best.

Initial Message from President Pamela Fox to the MBC Community
April 16, 2007

A devastating tragedy of monumental proportions has occurred at another university in the Commonwealth. At Virginia Tech this morning, reports indicate that at least 31 people including students have been killed, and another 20 or more wounded. It was reportedly the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

MBC invites members of the public to participate in the moment of silence. Those who are unfamiliar with the campus should come to the Administration Building, at the corner of New and Frederick Streets, where they will be directed to the North Court.

With fellow Virginians and people across America, we are appalled and shocked. Because the location was a university here in Virginia, just two hours away, and because many of us in the MBC community have family or friends associated with Virginia Tech, the news hits especially close to home. Our thoughts are with the victims at Tech, their families, and the entire Tech community. Our hearts ache.

For more information:
National coverage and overview at CNN:
A closer-to-home report that is frequently updated with student and faculty interviews and statements by Virginia public officials including Gov. Tim Kaine atThe Roanoke Times:


Morgan Alberts Smith '99 is the web producer and social media manager for MBC's Office of Communication, Marketing, and Public Affairs.