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District President Preston Pulliams: A Message of Condolence to Virginia Tech
Photos and Story by James Hill
Dear PCC Community,
On behalf of the college, I would like to extend heartfelt condolences to the victims and the community of Virginia Tech. Our thoughts from all of us at Portland Community College are with our friends at Virginia Tech and their loved ones during this time of unspeakable tragedy. It is a moment like this that brings us together as a community and reminds us how much we need one another for support. But in the midst of such tragedy, we often see the amazing things that the human spirit can accomplish. We see that with the outpouring of support that the country has directed toward those affected by the Virginia Tech tragedy.
This is certainly no more true than at PCC, where students, staff and faculty have bonded together to show their support for the victims. As our flags stand at half-staff, our students are selling orange and maroon ribbons to raise money that will be sent to families of the victims to help pay for funeral, burial and transportation costs. At each of the three campuses – Sylvania, Rock Creek and Cascade – there are large banners where anyone can sign and write their own condolences, thoughts and prayers. The banners, along with the money raised, will be sent to Virginia Tech in a few weeks. For those wishing to share their grief with others, a candlelight vigil will be held In memory of the people killed at Virginia Tech University on Monday, April 30 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. between Buildings 2 & 3 at the Rock Creek Campus.
In light of the Virginia Tech shootings, I want to reassure everyone at PCC that we take safety very seriously. The college has been actively planning for how we would respond to a similar situation by doing the necessary walk-throughs and establishing partnerships with local police, fire departments and emergency response districts.
It is impossible for us to truly understand the level of grief of the families, students, faculty and staff who have experienced this tragedy. Let us remind them that they, along with all of our brethren at universities and colleges across this great country, are part of an even larger “family” – the family of higher education. And in time, the support that they receive from colleges like PCC will help heal their spirit. I urge you, if you know anyone affected by this tragedy, to reach out and lend your support and comfort them because they truly are part of our “family.”
District President, Portland Community College