It’s hard to believe that this past weekend, Easter Sunday – April 16th, marked the 10-year anniversary of the largest school shooting in the U.S. and second deadliest shooting spree (to that of the tragic 2016 Orlando, FL nightclub shooting) in U.S. history. The Virginia Tech tragedy of April 16, 2007 has been referred to by many as the “9/11 for Institutes of Higher Education” (IHEs) – drawing parallels to the legal and operational change in requirements to prepare for and respond to acts of violence on campuses as those national homeland security measures resulting from 9/11. To this day, universities and campuses look to the lessons learned from this tragic event and best practices implemented by Virginia Tech’s now robust emergency management program which has, in some ways, become a “gold standard” in higher education emergency preparedness.
The following article does an excellent job capturing the events that unfolded that day, summarizing the State and Federal legislative actions taken afterwards to strengthen safety and security measures for students, and telling the narrative of Virginia Tech’s response, recovery and continued dedication to protecting its community.
Next month, Virginia Tech will be hosting the “5th Annual Best Practices in Higher Education Emergency Management Conference” and the UCIPD Emergency Management Division has been selected to speak on a related topic to share best practices and contribute to the growing body of knowledge that can be shared among other higher education emergency management professionals to increase the resiliency of the institutions they serve.