The following is a letter from President Charles Steger to Virginia Tech faculty and staff:

Dear Colleagues,

By now, you probably have heard that a jury in Montgomery County returned a verdict against the university in the case of Peterson/Pryde v. Commonwealth. Certainly, we are disappointed with today's decision. We stand by our long-held position that the administration and law enforcement at Virginia Tech did their absolute best with the information available after the dormitory shootings on the morning of April 16, 2007.

The heinous crimes committed by Seung-Hui Cho were an unprecedented act of violence that no one could have foreseen. The extended Virginia Tech family, particularly those on campus that horrible day, will always remember and honor those we lost.

As I said in my note of March 1, the tragedy of April 16 will live long at Virginia Tech. That sorrowful day brought unimaginable horror and heartbreak. This university community, and especially the families of those who perished or suffered, endured pain and sorrow that, to this day, is hard to describe. I hope that this adverse ruling does not affect your continued road to recovery.

We do not believe that evidence presented at trial warranted the verdict. Although, the jury returned a large award amount, the commonwealth's liability is limited to $100,000 per plaintiff. We will discuss this matter with the attorney general, carefully review the case, and explore all of the options available, such as an appeal.

I also want to thank you for the many notes of support. Reliving this pain has been especially difficult for us all and your words of encouragement mean more than I can express at this time.


Charles W. Steger

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