From the Manchester College Archives

News Release



Manchester College expresses

sympathy, solidarity

with Virginia Tech community


       Manchester College students, faculty and staff are sending words and prayers of support and solidarity to the Virginia Tech community.

       “With sadness and compassion, we stand beside the Virginia Tech community as it grieves the inexplicable deaths of its students, faculty and staff.  The intensity of their loss defies our understanding,” said President Jo Young Switzer.

       Friday, April 20, a letter will be sent to Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger from the entire Manchester College community. Students, faculty and staff are adding their thoughts to the letter, on a table in the central hall of the Administration Building.   

       At 9:15 p.m. Thursday, April 19, a candlelight gathering is scheduled in Petersime Chapel. “Members of the Manchester College community are invited to bring something to share – a brief reading, poem or simply names they wish to keep in our hearts and minds and prayers,” said interim Chaplain Sonia Smith.

       A previously scheduled meditative TaizŤ service of healing and wholeness on Wednesday morning drew a large number of students, faculty and staff to the chapel.

       Monday, at its 10 a.m. all-school convocation, the College will observe a moment of silence in remembering those affected by the violence at Virginia Tech. Flags are at half-staff on campus.

       “Even in tragedy, we have lessons to learn,” Switzer wrote in a campus-wide message:

      to work for nonviolence in our land and around the world,

      to cherish the safety we have experienced in our lives,

      to tell our friends and family that we love them more often,

      to realize the sacredness and fragility of human life.


       President Switzer also has sent a message to students, employees and parents about the College’s safety and security procedures and plans. In light of the Virginia Tech shooting, campus leaders have reviewed the plans, and updated communication procedures.

       Manchester, with its 100-acre campus and 1,056 students, is a close community. “Our students and employees immediately recognize strangers among us,” Switzer said. The College has an extremely active Early Alert system that brings competent attention for students who are troubled.

       To read the entire message about Safety at Manchester, visit

Manchester Media Relations

News Releases

Mission Statement

Statement by President Jo Young Switzer
about safety
at Manchester College