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Remembering the Virginia Beach Victims

Dear Monarch Community,

Last night, I shared a letter conveying my condolences to the victims of the shootings in Virginia Beach. This morning, I was heartbroken to learn that this tragedy struck closer to home. A number of victims and the alleged perpetrator attended or graduated from Old Dominion University.

At this point, we have learned that the following victims were members of the ODU community:

Tara Welch Gallagher, BS in Civil Engineering 2002, Master of Engineering 2003

Alexander Gusev, BS in Business Administration, 2010, BS in Civil Engineering, 2016

Richard H. Nettleton, BS in Business Administration, 1994

Christopher Kelly Rapp, BS in Civil Engineering, 1994, and son of a retired ODU administrator

Ryan Keith Cox, former student

I extend my deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of all of the victims. I know this tragedy has triggered a range of conflicting emotions - pain, anger, confusion. But it has also brought out the best in the Monarch community, and I am heartened that many have stepped up to volunteer, including our ODU counselors participating in the Virginia Beach First Responders team to help those in need.

Virginia and ODU flags are being flown at half-staff on campus. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Student Government Association will sponsor a vigil outside Webb University Center to pay tribute to the victims. The community is welcome to join.

ODU Cares network also is offering support to any Monarch in need. Please email ODUCares@odu.edu or call 757-683-3442 if you need assistance.

We stand united with our friends and neighbors in Virginia Beach, including our faculty, staff and students at the ODU Higher Education Center in the Princess Anne area, and throughout Hampton Roads. In the days and weeks ahead, with courage and love, let's help our community rise up from even the darkest of times.


John R. Broderick

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