Massacre at Virginia Tech has Ties to Michigan State

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It was a fairly quiet, and somewhat normal day on the MSU campus, but for a former Virginia Tech student, Monday's massacre hit a bit harder.

"I really started worrying," said MSU Assistant Professor and former Virginia Tech student Travis Brenden. "When I started seeing the pictures that they were showing, it ht me, just being able to know exactly where it is."

Before coming to Michigan State, Brenden studied in Blacksburg, Virginia, and has only the fondest of memories.

"The whole community is wrapped around the university," said Brenden. "The people are very friendly. It's one of the friendliest places I've lived."

A former Michigan State graduate who now teaches at Virginia Tech echoes those same sentiments.

"It's a very nice starts to get a little mountainous out there," said Virginia Tech Associate Professor Steve Southward in a phone interview. "It's a wonderful place to live."

Both men have gotten in contact with friends and colleagues at the school. Dr. Southward is still hoping to hear from about 30 students.

"It was very important for me to try to make sure that my students in my class were okay. I'm only teaching one class this semester, but I have not been able to contact all of my students yet," Southward added.

Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech serves as a time of reflection for not only Brenden and Southward, who have fond memories of Blacksburg, but the rest of the nation as well.

"If it can happen there, in a place like Blacksburg, then it really can happen anywhere," said Brenden.

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