The Catholic University of America

April 20, 2007

Ribbons Show Support for Virginia Tech

Orange and Maroon ribbons on sale in the Pryzbyla Center to benefit Virginia Tech.
A message for the tribute wall in the Pryzbyla Center to remember the victims at Virginia Tech.

The Catholic University of America continues to show its support for the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University several days after the tragic loss of more than 30 lives there.

Today, CUA students, faculty and staff participated in "Orange and Maroon Effect Day," a nationwide effort to show support for the victims of the shootings, their families and the Virginia Tech community by displaying the colors of Virginia Tech.

Beginning at 10 a.m., CUA's Division of Student Life began selling maroon and orange ribbons for $1 apiece in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. All proceeds will benefit Virginia Tech's Catholic campus ministry.

The upcoming collection at the three Sunday Masses on campus will also be earmarked for Virginia Tech's Catholic campus ministry.

At noontime, the bells of CUA's Caldwell Chapel tolled in remembrance of those who were shot on Monday.

Throughout the week, students have expressed their condolences and solidarity with the Virginia Tech community through written messages that have been posted on a tribute wall established in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. More than 400 notes had been posted by Wednesday afternoon.

On Monday evening, more than 300 members of the university community, most of them students, attended a memorial service at CUA's Caldwell Hall Chapel. The service included a homily from Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., university president, Scripture readings and hymns. To view an audio-visual presentation of the service, click here.

The 40-minute memorial service was followed by silent prayer throughout the evening, punctuated by a 10 p.m. Rosary that attracted a standing room only crowd. Students remained to pray in the chapel before the Blessed Sacrament until it closed at midnight.

After news of the shootings spread Monday, Father O'Connell sent a letter of condolence and support to Charles Steger, the president of Virginia Tech. Father O'Connell sent a second message to the Catholic University community, which was transmitted via e-mail to all students, faculty and staff. To read the full text, click here.

The university also went on a heightened state of alert Monday. University officials reviewed their emergency procedures and Father O'Connell held a summit meeting of top administrators on Thursday to discuss if anything more can be done in the area of emergency preparedness. For more information, see link.


Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,