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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Bells, colors, ribbons and banners: NMSU honors Virginia Tech

Up to 300 students, faculty and staff at New Mexico State University gathered at 10 a.m. Friday at the Horseshoe as the bells from Goddard Hall rang in remembrance of the victims of Monday's Virginia Tech shooting.

Vice President and Provost William Flores, Business Dean and former governor Garrey Carruthers, Senior Vice President for Planning, Resources and University Relations Ben Woods, and Graduate School Dean Linda Lacey were among those who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with students and faculty to reflect in silence as the bells tolled the number of victims.

Among the crowd were individuals who wore orange and maroon to be in solidarity with the day of mourning at Virginia Tech. Brandon Schmidt, a senior graphics design student, wore an orange and maroon ribbon clasped by an NMSU pin that read: One University.

"I was living in Littleton, Colo., when Columbine happened," he said, remembering the 13 people killed at the high school. "I was just 15 minutes away. When this happened Monday, it reminded me of that. But this time it was a university, and I'm at a university so it really hit home. It could happen anywhere."

The ceremony at NMSU was one of hundreds across New Mexico and more than a dozen other states that rang bells simultaneously at 10 a.m. Friday.

"This Friday, New Mexico stands with the Commonwealth of Virginia and its people," said Gov. Bill Richardson. "Virginia has declared April 20th a day of mourning and asked us to join them in a nationwide bell ringing ceremony at noon eastern time (10 a.m. New Mexico time)."

Richardson had asked that "every church, school and office to join in this commemoration by ringing a bell and taking a moment to commemorate those who lost their lives and lend our support for those families who have many difficult days ahead."

Friday also was the day to wear orange and maroon on the NMSU campus - the Virginia Tech colors.

Because of the traumatic impact of the tragedy nationwide, the NMSU Counseling Center will host a brown bag luncheon at noon Monday, April 23. The discussion will focus on students in distress, identification, intervention and referral. All faculty and staff have been invited to bring questions and concerns for discussion. Representatives from the Student Health Center and Student Judicial Affairs will also be in attendance.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, a memorial service for NMSU students who passed away during the year will be held in the lobby of the second floor in Corbett Center. During that service, the Virginia Tech students will be honored as well. NMSU President Michael Martin, Vice President for Student Success Carmen Gonzales and Rabbi Gerald Kane of the Interfaith Council will speak.
Across campus, posters and scrolls are set out on which the campus community can post messages and condolences for victims of Monday's tragedy. NMSU will be sending a banner to Virginia Tech in show of support. The banner will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, April 23, at the west entrance of Corbett Center, for faculty, staff and students to sign.