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University of Iowa News Release


April 19, 2007

Note: For more news and information about the UI's response to the Virginia Tech tragedy, visit:

UI Plans Virginia Tech Commemorations

UPDATE: The Virginia Tech alumni are organizing a national “Orange and Maroon Effect” day for Friday, April 20, asking everyone to wear that school’s colors. On the UI campus, ribbons are available in the Office of Student Life at the Iowa Memorial Union and in the Tippie College of Business.

NOTE: Following is a statement issued this afternoon to the University of Iowa campus community by UI Interim President Gary Fethke.

As more information about the great tragedy at Virginia Tech comes to light, our campus and our nation are struggling to try to understand and cope with what has happened this week.  We continue to mourn the loss of life and stand in solidarity with the Virginia Tech campus, the Blacksburg community, and all those affected by the horrifying events.

Many on our campus are seeking ways to express their grief and support. The Virginia Tech alumni are organizing a national “Orange and Maroon Effect” day for Friday, April 20, asking everyone to wear that school’s colors.  I encourage our entire UI campus community to join together tomorrow in this gesture.

Our campus continues to organize our own expressions of sorrow.  The flag atop Old Capitol continues to fly at half-staff until Sunday in accordance with President Bush’s proclamation.  On Monday, April 23, a memorial service involving various University groups will take place at noon on the Pentacrest.  The UI Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA) is organizing a "Hawkeye Hokie Remembrance" on Monday evening from 8 to 9 p.m. at Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street (details will be announced by that organization). A link on our University home page ( will keep the campus community updated on information regarding the University response to the tragedy.

I would also like to remind you again that University Counseling Service remains ready to help any students who desire assistance (, 319-335-7294).  UCS has also posted two articles on its web page about managing distress after a traumatic event.  Faculty and Staff Services also offers counseling and other assistance (, 319-335-2085).

As the reality of what happened in Virginia continues to sink in, please be assured that the UI is continually examining the effectiveness and improvement of its security procedures.  We are currently investigating ways to enhance communications during an emergency.  The safety of all faculty, staff, students, and visitors is of highest priority.

Our University and our campus community are compassionate and strong.  Let us use our resiliency and our empathy to support each other, our colleagues and friends in Virginia, and our nation as best we can in this time of mourning.

Gary Fethke

Interim President


STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott,, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972