News Release

Sympathy extended to Virginia Tech 'family'

Contact: Rene Abadie


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President Randy Moffett at the VT Memorial  

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University President Randy Moffett expressed the university’s concern and sympathy for the faculty, staff and students at Virginia Tech at a memorial service conducted on the campus on Wednesday (April 18).

Dr. Moffett’s remarks:

I want to thank you for attending this solemn occasion. This memorial service is a small but, we hope, meaningful way for the Southeastern family to express our care and concern for the Virginia Tech family.

As a university family, we at Southeastern share a certain kinship with the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech University. The tragedy that occurred there Monday morning could happen on any campus. Those students were simply going about their business … attending class, studying for tests … chatting with friends. No one, no one would have anticipated something this horrendous happening on that day.

But it did happen. And we are all left with a feeling of emptiness while trying to fathom such senseless violence that seemingly was directed at innocent people.

I am sure those at Virginia Tech have been asking themselves, “Why me? Why us?” The truth is no one can truly comprehend a deranged act of this nature. Harold Kushner, the rabbi who wrote the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, struggled with this eternal question. He came to the understanding and acceptance that, unfortunately, bad things DO happen to all people … it is part of the human experience.

We can certainly empathize and sympathize with the Virginia Tech family. It wasn’t that long ago that we were faced with our own crisis of monumental proportions. When Hurricane Katrina hit, we saw the outpouring of sympathy, prayers and help that came from all corners of the world. And we saw the positive impact that can be derivedfrom the love and concern of others.

And that is what we must do … extend our sympathy and our prayers to serve as a source of strength for our friends and colleagues at Virginia Tech. Today, we join others across this nation who are grieving for the Virginia Tech family. Knowing that many others are joined with them during this time of incredible pain will support them as they move through the long, slow grieving process.

We can all learn from any event, even one such as this. As students and faculty, we need to be aware and cognizant of what is going on with our fellow students and friends. If someone is troubled or suffering in some way, talk to them, and urge them to get professional help that is readily available for them. 

We in administration learn from this as well. We are re-examining our crisis plans and communications methods to determine how we can better communicate within our own Southeastern family when emergencies develop.

In closing, I ask you to pray that the families and friends of those who died in this tragedy find comfort and solace in knowing that they are not alone in their suffering. Pray for your fellow students remaining at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech prides itself on its “Hokie spirit.” Like you, those students are strong and resilient. They will never forget this moment in their lives, but they will recover. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Again, thank you for sharing this occasion with us this afternoon. 

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