Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Letter of Support for the Virginia Tech Family

Dear Aggie Family,

Today our hearts are heavy for the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Virginia Tech. What their campus community endured Monday is beyond comprehension. No doubt, the events of Monday morning caused us to pause and reflect on our own tragic events of 1999. While the circumstances differ, the impact of such a large-scale loss of life on a close-knit campus is much the same. It is a day that will not be forgotten.

Many of us traveled to Blacksburg in September 2003 for our football game against the Hokies and experienced the warm hospitality of the Virginia Tech faithful. I believe we felt an immediate kinship with their fans, due in large part to similarities in the origins of our two schools. In the last few days many of you have expressed genuine concern and compassion for our friends at Virginia Tech and offered suggestions on how we as an Aggie family might show our support.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that students at Texas A&M are already reaching out to show their support. Monday night, members of our Corps of Cadets gathered for Echo Taps, an event reserved to pay respects to those killed in times of national tragedy. Our student government has organized an effort to collect notes of condolence from Aggies and forward these to the students of Virginia Tech. And just this morning The Association of Former Students joined together with the Texas Exes of the University of Texas to send a unified message of support to the Virginia Tech Alumni Association. Given that our two schools have endured tragedies on our own campuses in 1999 and 1966, we felt it was an appropriate gesture to have Aggie maroon and Texas orange stand with the maroon and orange of Virginia Tech in a show of support.

Virginia Tech, much like Texas A&M, is a close-knit community. The strength of the Hokie Nation will help them to work through the healing process and move forward. The Aggie family relates to what the Virginia Tech family is experiencing in the aftermath of this tragedy and we offer up our thoughts, prayers and encouragement. We pulled together as a family in 1999, but we also found great strength in the kindness and support of universities across the nation.

Today, we extend to Virginia Tech our most sincere sympathy, along with the promise that day by day, little by little, healing will come.

In the Aggie Spirit,
Porter S. Garner III ’79
Executive Director

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