Tony O’Driscoll Fuqua School of Business, Duke University Technology and Tragedy The Hokie Nation’s Response to the Virgin...
Slide:  April 16, 2007 158 Minutes Deadliest peacetime shooting incident by a single gunman in US History 33 People Died  ...
1985-1991
April 15, 1995
April 16, 2007 The main stream media engaged in a  FEEDING FRENZY  around the Virginia tech Massacre, assaulting our  FRAG...
April 17, 2007 “ I just remember looking back and seeming him at the door,” the Virginia Tech senior recalled of her profe...
April 17, 2007 We could experience what it felt like to be there chanting  “LETS GO HOKIES”  out loud with everyone at the...
April 18, 2007 Where is the COMPASSION in reporting?  MSNBC’s decision to air  Cho’s pre-recorded Manifesto  on Primetime ...
April 19-26, 2007 Crowd SOURCING The Hokie Nation became swaddled in a  DIGITAL BLANKET OF HUMAN COMPASSION  that hailed f...
April 19-26, 2007 The big news today is that the Hokie Nation is  NO LONGER TALKING TO THE PRESS.  Instead, they are keepi...
April 25, 2007
Slide:  April 26, 2007
Slide:  My name is Arie (Lionel) Librescu and I am Liviu's younger son.   I am writing to you regarding the "Virginia...
Slide:  November 5, 2009 The  “ONE MACHINE”  gave me a moment of  SERINDIPITOUS SYNCHRONY  that  I will  CHERISH FOREVER
Slide:  November 5, 2009 Virginia Tech is so much more to so many of us than what happened there at a particular  TIME STA...
Slide:  November 5, 2009 THANK YOU !
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Ted India

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  • The days that have had the most impact in your life remain burned in your memory so clearly that time becomes irrelevant. April 16, 2007 is one such day for me The first thing that the morning I remember getting an e-mail from a college friend. I thought it was about our plans to go to the Miami football game later that year, but when I opened it he mentioned something about a shooting on campus. Unfortunately the media had desensitized me to such news . I was in a rush to get to a meeting so I decided to wait till later to look into it. When I got back to my desk I knew something was wrong I had over 250 e-mails from HOKIES I had not heard from in years. At first, I had a hard time getting on the web, but when I finally did, I quickly learned the horrible truth about what what going on in Blacksburg. In the space of 158 short minutes while I was in a meeting , Seung Hui Cho , a 23 year old Senior had fired at least 174 rounds with two guns , killed 32 people and injured 17 more before taking his own life. The story I want to share with you today is how Virginia Tech and the Hokie Nation responded to this terrible tragedy.
  • The first thing you must understand about me is that I am a HOKIE and I am DAMN proud of it! The six years I spent at Virginia Tech (I was a co-op student) laid the important foundation for a wonderfully exciting and rewarding career at the nexus of business and technology. The friends I made at Virginia Tech are the ones I have held closest to my heart over the last 20 years . We still meet up at least twice a year for some event or other and we always reminisce about the special times we had at Virginia Tech: be it Fraternity Parties, Party Pranks, Summer School in Blacksburg, Hiking the Cascades or Tubing on the New River Most importantly , the friend I hold closest to my heart, my wife Theresa, is also a Hokie. Theresa and I first met during her Sophomore year, and for me it was without-doubt love at first sight.
  • Seven years later (It took me a while to convince Theresa about the Love at first sight thing)… we were married at the Virginia Tech Chapel. My college room-mates were all there …. as was a huge contingent of my family from Ireland whomade the long trip across the pond for the big occasion. Blacksburg would never be the same as my family drank every bar out of whiskey and Guinness and a GREAT time was had by all. Every time we would go back to campus for a Football Game or to hike during the summer we would walk by the Chapel and be reminded of this very special day. To Theresa and I, Virginia Tech was so much more than a place on the map. It had become a huge part of who we were as people.
  • Twelve years and one day later all the fond memories of Virginia Tech were brutally pushed into the deep recesses of our minds. In its place came horror, fear, sadness and confusion. When I got home, Theresa was sitting on the couch in a near-catatonic state . It looked almost as if the waves of media from the TV were washing over her as she moved slowly back and forth glued to the broadcaster’s every word even though she had heard it all over and over and over again since the early morning. I too got lured by the media muse and hours passed as we continued our hypnotic trance drinking from the stream of media that played like a broken record in repetitive and rhythmic 20 minute intervals . Thankfully, the phone rang to break our trance , it is my Uncle from England. The news has gone global. He had seen it on TV and he recognized the Chapel where we were married from his visit to the US 12 years earlier . He wanted to be sure we were all right and that everyone we knew was safe. As if awakening from a deep slumber we burst into action… phone calls and emails to all our friends ensued at a furious rate. After a few hours of calls and tears we were able to take some solace in knowing that those closest to us in the Hokie Nation had not suffered directly from this tragedy.
  • Twelve years and one day later all the fond memories of Virginia Tech were brutally pushed into the deep recesses of our minds. In its place came horror, fear, sadness and confusion. When I got home, Theresa was sitting on the couch in a near-catatonic state . It looked almost as if the waves of media from the TV were washing over her as she moved slowly back and forth glued to the broadcaster’s every word even though she had heard it all over and over and over again since the early morning. I too got lured by the media muse and hours passed as we continued our hypnotic trance drinking from the stream of media that played like a broken record in repetitive and rhythmic 20 minute intervals . Thankfully, the phone rang to break our trance , it is my Uncle from England. The news has gone global. He had seen it on TV and he recognized the Chapel where we were married from his visit to the US 12 years earlier . He wanted to be sure we were all right and that everyone we knew was safe. As if awakening from a deep slumber we burst into action… phone calls and emails to all our friends ensued at a furious rate. After a few hours of calls and tears we were able to take some solace in knowing that those closest to us in the Hokie Nation had not suffered directly from this tragedy.
  • As I drove into work the next morning, I heard a story about a Virginia Tech professor, and holocaust survivor, who had prevented Cho from entering his classroom until most of his students escaped through the windows. This brave man eventually succumbed to being shot multiple times through the door, but his heroic act saved many young lives from their demise that day. Later that morning Later that morning, Theresa called to let me know that one of her favorite teachers, Nikki Giovanni, would be speaking along with George Bush at a Convocation and that I should watch it. The mood was somber as Dr. Giovanni took to the stage and her brief address nothing short of astounding Even more importantly, the response to her address was 100% Hokie Nation. The whole audience started chanting “Lets Go Hokies” in unison and my hope in humanity was restored instantly. In listening to Dr. Giovanni, I found myself simultaneously steeped in the emotions of deep sorrow and incredible pride. It was a truly eerie feeling . I was tearful because that part of me that is Virginia Tech was battered and bruised and still laying on the ground not quite sure if I wanted to get up. At the same time, with role models like Dr. Giovanni, and the nameless professor who selflessly gave his life to save his students, I had NO EXCUSE but to pick myself up. And so I did. I turned my frown upside down I and felt incredibly proud that day to be part of the resurgent Hokie Nation.
  • April 18 is yet another day that will no-doubt remain indelibly imprinted in my brain. It is the day that the Mainstream Media consciously shifted and from reporting to exploiting Virginia Tech in a most uncompassionate way. Between Shootings, Cho had gone to the Post Office and mailed a package to NBC news. It contained an 1800 word manifesto and 27 digitally recorded videos . Brian Williams and MSNBC decided to air 2 minutes and 20 seconds of Cho’s material on Primetime and the resulting media onslaught on the Virginia Tech Massacre reached fever pitch. Unfortunately, the relentless search for a memorable sound byte or a world-premiere interview has all but decimated a journalists ability to share in the tragedy and grief of victims with even a modicum of compassion. MSNBC’s decision to air the Primetime spot on Cho ripped opened the Hokie Nation’s tender wounds and dumped salt on them without even a hint of remorse. Dr. Giovanni’s powerful speech and the Holocaust Professor’s heroism unfortunately took backstage to the onslaught of chat shows and talking heads dissecting every angle of the Virginia Tech Massacre. The Hokie Nation could not escape the Media Feeding Frenzy , if only to breathe deeply for one moment and ponder the bigger questions. Why did this happen? Why Here? Why Now?
  • Thankfully the Hokie Nation responded very quickly to this Media assault. The students of Virginia Tech and residents of Blacksburg started a website called WeSupportVT.com This site has one purpose in mind: To Create the Space for the Hokie Nation to Heal. The site contained a petition that asked the media to: 1.Stop glamorizing Cho 2.To leave the town of Blacksburg peacefully without further exploiting the situation 3.And to end the criticisms of President Steger and Chief Flinchum.   The Hokie Nation embraced WeSupportVT with great passion : Within one day there were already 12000 signatures on the site and by April 26: more than 37,000 Hokies had signed the petition. In less than a week, the community became unified in its purpose and united in its effort and to make make room for the Hokie Nation to heal. Reporters could no longer get a word from anyone and the media went home
  • Thankfully the Hokie Nation responded very quickly to this Media assault. The students of Virginia Tech and residents of Blacksburg started a website called WeSupportVT.com This site has one purpose in mind: To Create the Space for the Hokie Nation to Heal. The site contained a petition that asked the media to: 1.Stop glamorizing Cho 2.To leave the town of Blacksburg peacefully without further exploiting the situation 3.And to end the criticisms of President Steger and Chief Flinchum.   The Hokie Nation embraced WeSupportVT with great passion : Within one day there were already 12000 signatures on the site and by April 26: more than 37,000 Hokies had signed the petition. In less than a week, the community became unified in its purpose and united in its effort and to make make room for the Hokie Nation to heal. Reporters could no longer get a word from anyone and the media went home
  • Two search words and one click later I found myself falling headlong into a deep dark abyss of sorrow. All the memories came flooding back. HE was the man who had patiently helped me get through my most challenging class in engineering school. He was the man who taught me Dynamics in Norris Hall back in 1987. More importantly HE was the VERY SAME MAN who gave his own life to save all those students on that fateful day. For me, this was the last straw on a rollercoaster ride of emotions from: First hearing the terrrible news from friends and then on being bombarded by the news To SOARING TO NEW EMOTIONAL heights with the help of Nikki Giovanni’s powerful rhetoric To PLUMMETING AGAIN TO THE DEPTHS OF DISPAIR with the Second Coming of the Mainstream media To being lifted again by the Crowdsourcing and Soothing of the Hokie Nation working together to a to create a space to heal. AND NOW THIS! The VIRGINIA TECH MASSACRE had suddenly become personal and I was once again whiplashed back into an emotional state of angst, confusion and pain. Unable to sleep that night I figured I had to DO SOMETHING . So I did. I mashed up some of the most moving photos I found on the web, I put Nikki Giovanni’s powerful speech in the background and, half-way through, I paid a personal tribute to Dr. Librescu . It was all I knew to do to purge the demons in my mind. Once I posted it on YouTube, I succumbed to exhaustion and I fell into a deep sleep on the couch.
  • I would like to share with you the video I posted that night.
  • The next morning I was awakened by the familiar “ding” of my email….I ambled over and clicked on the email….. HERE IS WHAT IT SAID.
  • In an instant this SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE TRAGIC SITUATION had resolved itself into a moment of SERENITY AND PEACE unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I dwelled in that moment for what seemed like an eternity: Seeking refuge in its comfort and finding solace in the knowledge that something I did made a difference to someone who was in much more pain than I . I NEVER WANTED to leave that moment. The present is called the present because it IS a PRESENT. It is a gift where HUMANITY CAN DWELL IN SYNCHRONY to make things better for themselves and for each other . That morning, the “One Machine” as Kevin Kelly so aptly describes it, gave me a moment of SERENDIPITOUS SYNCHRONY that provided much needed refuge in the middle of a vicious and violent storm. Today, I remain saddened to know that my Alma Matter will always be remembered for something that could have happened anywhere, anytime, anyplace. It just happened to be Blacksburg, on APRIL 16 th 2007, in Ambler Johnson and Norris Halls. But that is OK because I am a HOKIE and WE WILL PREVAIL - BECAUSE WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH THANK YOU.
  • In an instant this SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE TRAGIC SITUATION had resolved itself into a moment of SERENITY AND PEACE unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I dwelled in that moment for what seemed like an eternity: Seeking refuge in its comfort and finding solace in the knowledge that something I did made a difference to someone who was in much more pain than I . I NEVER WANTED to leave that moment. The present is called the present because it IS a PRESENT. It is a gift where HUMANITY CAN DWELL IN SYNCHRONY to make things better for themselves and for each other . That morning, the “One Machine” as Kevin Kelly so aptly describes it, gave me a moment of SERENDIPITOUS SYNCHRONY that provided much needed refuge in the middle of a vicious and violent storm. Today, I remain saddened to know that my Alma Matter will always be remembered for something that could have happened anywhere, anytime, anyplace. It just happened to be Blacksburg, on APRIL 16 th 2007, in Ambler Johnson and Norris Halls. But that is OK because I am a HOKIE and WE WILL PREVAIL - BECAUSE WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH THANK YOU.
  • In an instant this SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE TRAGIC SITUATION had resolved itself into a moment of SERENITY AND PEACE unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I dwelled in that moment for what seemed like an eternity: Seeking refuge in its comfort and finding solace in the knowledge that something I did made a difference to someone who was in much more pain than I . I NEVER WANTED to leave that moment. The present is called the present because it IS a PRESENT. It is a gift where HUMANITY CAN DWELL IN SYNCHRONY to make things better for themselves and for each other . That morning, the “One Machine” as Kevin Kelly so aptly describes it, gave me a moment of SERENDIPITOUS SYNCHRONY that provided much needed refuge in the middle of a vicious and violent storm. Today, I remain saddened to know that my Alma Matter will always be remembered for something that could have happened anywhere, anytime, anyplace. It just happened to be Blacksburg, on APRIL 16 th 2007, in Ambler Johnson and Norris Halls. But that is OK because I am a HOKIE and WE WILL PREVAIL - BECAUSE WE ARE VIRGINIA TECH THANK YOU.
  • Ted India

    1. 1. Tony O’Driscoll Fuqua School of Business, Duke University Technology and Tragedy The Hokie Nation’s Response to the Virginia Tech Massacre
    2. 2. Slide: April 16, 2007 158 Minutes Deadliest peacetime shooting incident by a single gunman in US History 33 People Died and 23 More Were Injured
    3. 3. 1985-1991
    4. 4. April 15, 1995
    5. 5. April 16, 2007 The main stream media engaged in a FEEDING FRENZY around the Virginia tech Massacre, assaulting our FRAGILE PSYCHES with an ongoing barrage of IMAGES, STORIES, INTERVIEWS AND ANALYSIS
    6. 6. April 17, 2007 “ I just remember looking back and seeming him at the door,” the Virginia Tech senior recalled of her professor. “I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for him.”
    7. 7. April 17, 2007 We could experience what it felt like to be there chanting “LETS GO HOKIES” out loud with everyone at the Convocation and it makes us feel better!
    8. 8. April 18, 2007 Where is the COMPASSION in reporting? MSNBC’s decision to air Cho’s pre-recorded Manifesto on Primetime News added more CHUM to the already insufferable Media FEEDING FRENZY
    9. 9. April 19-26, 2007 Crowd SOURCING The Hokie Nation became swaddled in a DIGITAL BLANKET OF HUMAN COMPASSION that hailed from every PART OF THE PLANET
    10. 10. April 19-26, 2007 The big news today is that the Hokie Nation is NO LONGER TALKING TO THE PRESS. Instead, they are keeping their mouths shut and handing out FLYERS POLITELY ASKING THEM TO LEAVE. GO HOKIES! Crowd SOURCING Crowd SOOTHING
    11. 11. April 25, 2007
    12. 12. Slide: April 26, 2007
    13. 13. Slide: My name is Arie (Lionel) Librescu and I am Liviu's younger son. I am writing to you regarding the "Virginia Tech Second Life Memorial" Video tribute you have posted on YouTube.com. My family and I would like to thank you very much for the kind and beautiful gesture. Personally, your video has moved me very much and I would like to thank you very much for it. I wish you all the continued luck and success in life. Arie Librescu April 27, 2007
    14. 14. Slide: November 5, 2009 The “ONE MACHINE” gave me a moment of SERINDIPITOUS SYNCHRONY that I will CHERISH FOREVER
    15. 15. Slide: November 5, 2009 Virginia Tech is so much more to so many of us than what happened there at a particular TIME STAMP in the RELENTLESS UNFOLDING OF TIME.
    16. 16. Slide: November 5, 2009 THANK YOU !

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