'That Kindness Changed Me Forever': Va. Tech Prof Remembers

Campus preparing to mark 10-year anniversary of the shootings
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2017 8:52 AM CDT
'That Kindness Changed Me Forever': Va. Tech Prof Remembers
A file photo of a Virginia Tech groundskeeper sprucing up a campus memorial to the victims.   (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)

Sunday will mark 10 years since gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech, and a professor there recounts for StoryCorps via NPR the day the classes resumed. Jane Vance expected just a handful of students to show up, but everybody was there, sitting "like statues." One student stood and spoke of his sister, who had been seriously injured, and another spoke of her friend Caitlin, who had been killed. "Yes, Caitlin, she sat next to my sister," said the first student. "She died very quickly."

The second student took some comfort in that, "and the class rose spontaneously, hugged, and sat down," recounts Vance. She asked whether she should begin to teach, and did so when the students nodded. "That kindness in such young people changed me forever," says Vance. The campus has a series of commemorations planned throughout the weekend, and the university is expecting the biggest turnout of students, alums, and supporters since the 2007 shooting, reports USA Today. (More Virginia Tech shootings stories.)

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