Emotional students at the University of Virginia send messages to their friends at Virginia Tech
      Charlottesville, Virginia
      April 17, 2007

      The Virginia Tech tragedy hit close to home for me and many of my friends. I didn’t go to Virginia Tech, but I grew up in an area where lots of people did. Many of the victims of yesterday’s attack came from Northern Virginia, and at least one of them went to my high school. Mary Read performed in the color guard at Annandale High School, and I was the captain of that very same color guard years ago. My friends and their friends know people who were hurt or died, and the whole experience has been a shock to our community.

      My brother and I both went to the University of Virginia, which likes to think of itself as the big rival to Virginia Tech. UVA and Tech love to hate each other, but the truth is that we are more like brothers; you and your brother can bicker all you like, but if he was ever in trouble, you’d be the first one by his side. Almost everyone at UVA has a close friend or family member at Virginia Tech. Both my brother and I had high school best friends at Virginia Tech. My friend, Heather, even lived in West AJ dorm our freshman year. Lots of people from my high school went there, and some of my best friends today are Tech alumni.

      When the shootings occurred yesterday, I immediately wanted to drive down to Blacksburg to take photographs. I realized, of course, that the entire world had already descended upon little Blacksburg, and the last thing they needed was yet another photographer wandering around. I decided to do the next best thing — go to UVA and see how my fellow Wahoos were reacting to the tragedy.

      Today many UVA students and faculty were wearing Virginia Tech’s colors of maroon and orange. VT flags were flying where UVA flags normally would be. Thousands of people gathered at night for a candlelight vigil in support of their friends at Virginia Tech. I learned today that rivalry disappears when people you know and love are hurting. I’m so glad I was there to see it all.

      Tri-Delt house, flying a VT flag

      Beta Bridge

      UVA repainted this secret society “Z” orange and maroon.

      Students were passing out orange and maroon ribbons.

      Students gathering for the vigil

      Passing out ribbons

      Thousands of people were there.

      Lighting each other’s candles, with a handful of cash to donate to the victims’ families

      The Virginia Belles, singing “More Than Words”


      Hello DrJohn Hello

      Hello my friends 🙂

      I find it especially cute that the kids appear to be using an ikea step stool as their picnic table and both their bums fit in it.

      these photos are so touching… I literally cried my eyes out.

      Charlotte, these pictures are very moving and I know they must have been hard for you to take. My heart goes out to everyone there. Hugs, Tamera

      W&M w/ you

      My husband & I attended W&M and receive alumni email. I kept waiting for something from Pres. Nichol about Tech, but nothing…. I do hope that we missed hearing all the support the College rendered. If not, know this is not the first time Pres. Nichol has badly misrepresented the heart of W&M.

      “Go to UVA!!!”
      Do they still shout that at prospective students from W&M freshmen dorms?)

      Thanks from VT

      From a Tech Alum – Thanks Hoos for showing that we are all in this world together. It’s been tough here – I live in Blacksburg and love it and my school. VT and UVA are both GREAT schools with great student and professors and we are all blessed to be one of the chosen who attended one of the nations finest universities – Thanks for the support!!!

      VT – Hoos for Hookies

      Hey! I didn’t know you were still in town. A guy I carpool with went to UVA and he has a picture of the Beta Bridge decorated with “Hoos for Hookies” on his office door.

      I hope you have a safe trip back to COS and I’ll see you next time you’re in town.


      Proud to be a Wahoo

      As a graduate of UVA with both close friends and relatives that attended VT, this display of concern and love makes me proud. EJR/Engineering/1973.

      Thanks for your support from a Hoo in Blacksburg!

      As a Hoo married to a Hokie, it is so hard to accept as true this shooting here in small-town Blacksburg, not in Bagdad or New York or LA, but here. We literally live a matter of a few blocks from Norris Hall; My wife works on-campus just a couple of buildings away from West Ambler Johnson hall where the first shooting occurred. While we did not personally know anyone who was a casualty, we are no-less troubled by these events. So many friends and co-workers know the victims; we travel by these halls daily. How easily our family could have been victimized by this mad-man. Thanks for these moving pix and support

      Beautiful tribute


      My Hokie Neighbor sent us the link to your blog. We have sons at both UVA and Virginia Tech. Our fear lasted only minutes until we got a voice mail from our son at Virginia Tech on Monday. I can’t even imagine the pain being felt by those parents who are like us in so many ways but now whose lives are changed forever. It is heartwarming to see UVA supporting Virginia Tech like this. Thank you for bringing these images to us.

      Joe Fuller
      Chesapeake, VA

      Re: We’re all one big family

      This is unbelieveable. I know there is such a heated rivalry between these 2 schools that this should bond us closer. We live in a crazy world and we never know what will happen.

      God Bless Us All!!!!

      Go Hoos and Hokies!!!

      Thank you, Charlotte

      My son is a Sophomore at VT and he loves to let me know that it is I who is the legacy in teh family, since I started working on my Ph.D. at the VT Northern Virginia campus the semester after he started in Blacksburg.

      Like many parents of current VT students I brought my son home early last week to have the comfort of family to start the healing process. Upon return to Blacksburg yesterday (Sunday April 22), i had the first opportunity to walk the hallowed ground commenorating this tragedy.

      Yesterday for the first time I wept – the tears came not from the senceless loss of life (which is indeed tragic), but from the outcropping of support from out bretheren from Universities campuses around the world.

      The loss of life, especially of those so young, and the hurt suffered from those left behind is numbing, but the outcropping of love, support and prayer from around the world, reaffirms the goodness in peoples heart of hearts.

      You truly live up to the VT motto: Ut Prosim – That we may serve… Thank you, Charlotte.

      I’m a Hokie

      Hi Charlotte, these images warm my heart. I also grew up in Northern Virginia and as a graduate of VA Tech, the past week was incredibly difficult. I moved to L.A. several months ago and it was terrible to be so far away during this tragedy. It really does help to see the outpouring of support from other schools. Thank you for sharing in that and for sharing your images. They mean a lot to many many people!

      Justine Ungaro

      Re: Hoos for Hokies

      The Virginia Tech community is most appreciative of the concern and support we have received from UVA. The pain of this past week will not go away soon, nor should it. But we are resolved to move forward and take great strength from your concern, support, and good wishes.

      Raymond Smoot
      VT, ’69 with a son at UVA

      wahoos (a uva student) and hokies (a va tech student) are the nicknames for the students. they are both part of school cheers.

      it really was a tragedy that happened at va tech. you got some nice photos of the vigil. a friend of mine suggested i take a look at your journal, specifically this entry, because i too, photographed another vigil that took place at another university on thursday. it’s interesting to see the emotion and the mood that other photographers have captured.

      p.s. i recall seeing some wedding photos you’ve posted in some communities a long while back. i think i can learn a lot from your photos. hope you don’t mind if i add you.

      Re: Hoos for Hokies

      Thanks for praying and caring about the Tech Family on such a tradget week we have had. I work with Uva fans and Hokie Fans but we stood in unbelief the day we watched this man take the lives of so many students and adults.
      I live 30 mins from campus and attend the football games and my heart hurts everytime I see something on the news about this. We will start to heal and with Gods help he will ease the pain,.Thank you and God Bless you Uva and the world for being there for us. Gail Hooper

      Christiansburg Va

      Thanks Hoos

      Thank you Charlotte and all the rest of yoos hoos. It is obvious that you truly share our sadness. Together we can get through this. HOOS AND HOKIES FOREVER!!!!

      A VT staffer

      Right on!

      Our daughter is a freshman at VT. Her dad earned his BS at VT and his law degree at UVA. Even so, our house is a Hokie House. But your pictures, whew, just blew me away. Especially when I got to the “Hoos for Hokies” painted on Beta Bridge. It is hard to express the kinship we feel from our brothers and sisters at UVA.

      Let’s Go Hokies! Wahoo-wa!

      Somber beauty

      I am always proud of the way people pull together in times of tragedy. Many people feel that the younger generation has lost touch with caring, the Me generation. I have never felt that to be true, and this beautiful memorial symbolizes it so much more than words can. Thanks, Charlotte for reminding everyone that we are truly brothers and sisters, and that the family is wounded today.

      Harrisonburg VA

      We are all brothers

      Charlotte as VT alum and avid Hokie, I am so grateful that you could share this wonderful tribute. I have never heard our rivalry stated so eloquently. It is very true that we are all brothers and sisters who won’t hesitate to come the aid of each other in times of need. We are citizens of humanity first. Thomas Jefferson would be proud to know that his ideals live in the 21st century.
      Jeff Francis
      Class of 78′

      Hoos for Hokies

      Thanks for the photos that capture the sentiment shared by many Wahoos. Before delivering a keynote address this week in Detroit at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, I chose to open with remarks concerning the tragedy. I have received nothing but positive feedback from this tribute.
      BSAE 1971
      PhD MAE 1986

      Proud UVA Alumnus

      I am a 1974 UVA alumnus. After seeing the pics of Beta Bridge, these photos and the letter of Elizabeth Hart I can unequivocally state that I have never been more proud of my alma mater. Everytime I look at the pictures and read the letter I get choked up. The UVA response to the VT tragedy transcends all the feelings we have previously felt in the quasi-sibling rivalry between our two institutions (btw my sister is a ’72 VT grad). Clearly, our view of one another has been changed forever. Hate has become Love. Hallelujah! God bless VT and UVA.

      uva photos

      i was moved to tears, thank you for sharing them.

      Thank You

      Thank you to Charlotte and thanks to the Wahoos – from a Hokie alum, thank you again for your support.

      Simply Amazing!

      I never thought I would see this many Wahoos assemble to support the Hokies. Nor did I think I would ever see the VT flag displayed, with pride, on a UVA building. This is an amazing thing you Cavs have done. I, as well as all Hokies, appreciate your support. Thank you so very much. This is what it means to be a true Virginian.

      VT 1999/2001

      I am so proud to be a Virginian.


      I am moved by the capacity we have for love. You’ve put together a beautiful collection of photos.

      Thank you, from a Hoo who hasn’t seen C-ville in years.


      From a Hokie herself, I express my deep gratitude towards all those in Charlottesville and across the Nation.

      Re: Thanks UVA, from a Hokie

      My wife and I are both VT alums. Our brothers and many of our friends attended UVA. We have a great rivalry. These pictures from UVA are being circulated to VT alum everywhere, and they have brought tears to the eyes of many. Thanks, UVA, for your grace and support in helping the Hokies through this tragedy.

      A Hokie who is grateful to the ‘Hoos.


      I am a VT alum and now have a daughter at VT. Your display of support is truly beautiful. You will never know how much this is appreciated and the lives you have touched forever. Its so encouraging that our future leaders have this amazing compassion. Many have seen the rivalries between VT and UVA…now they see the true spirit. Its hard to find any good in the senseless killings of our friends at VT, especially with it only being a few days ago. But, I know with the compassion that you have shown, their deaths will not be in vain…good will triumph over evil. The last face of this will not be that of the killer’s displayed on the news or the front page of the paper…it will be those that have died and those that continue to live with their memory

      The Power of Pictures

      Charlotte-this was forwarded to me from a fellow UVa Alum. I live in NYC and have been feeling strangely detached from the situation all week… nothing here has seemed to slow down. I’ve felt like more of a Virginian than ever before. Seeing your pictures made it all hit home, I think mostly because it brought the raw feelings of sadness, disbelief, and loss and set them against a backdrop of all those wonderful and familiar places from school–the Rotunda, beta bridge, the amphitheater. College is a time of hope and seeing such sorrow is heartwrenching. Thanks for sharing your view.

      What wonderful, moving photos. Thanks for capturing the moments, Charlotte.

      CLAS ’94

      Re: Thank you.

      I live in California and have been following the VT tragedy with a sad heart and teary eyes. My home town is Blacksburg. I went to W&L and naturally being a Mink and growing up as a Hokie, I just HAD to hate UVA.

      That being said, I cannot thank you enough for these photos and the outpouring of affection from Charlottesville. It makes me so proud to be a Virginian even if I am lost here in California.

      Thank you.

      As a Hokie alumnus who has always loved to hate UVA, I am very touched by such a moving show of support. I will forever hold UVA in a new light. Thank you ‘Hoos.

      Another VT Alum deelpy touched

      I am another VT Alum who is deeply touched by this show of support. I have a daughter who is a high school senior and is in the fortunate position of trying to decide between UVA and another top ranked school (VT isn’t on her list since it doesn’t have the specialty she is interested in). After this week, I’m going to strongly suggest UVA . . . that choice will keep her “in the family.”

      You have demonstrated with great caring the VT motto “ut prosim” . . . that I may serve.

      You’re the best sister…

      …a photographer could hope for. Thanks for sharing these powerful images. People like you really do make a difference in the world.
      You’re friend, Steve

      TJ would be right with you!

      Thomas jefferson who realized only Education can improve the world and progress freedom, would be so proud of all of your generation of Virginia and Tech students with the class and character of your actions. The silver lining of this horrific event is the love you guys have shown for each other regarldess of origin!. it Will never be forgotten.!!

      Gators supporting Hokies

      I am a senior at the University of Florida and I am also very touched by these pictures…we had a vigil last night for this tragedy as well. I think these events really touched all college students around the country because you never know if it could happen at your school, and we are all in the same times in our lives.

      Thank you from a Hokie

      Thanks for the beautiful and touching pictures of “Hoos for Hokies”. Although I am not a Virginia Tech alumni, I am a Hokie. Seeing the images from Charlottesville are hearting warming and just go to show that we are all a part of the Hokie Nation in some way.

      Kim C. in Roanoke, VA

      Hoos for Hokies

      What a beautiful testimony of sincere support. Those amazing photos captured the essence of mutual understanding. Thank you, Charlotte, for showing us all what really counts. Melissa King

      Makes me proud to be a UVa alum.

      Well done Hoos!

      Thank you. I’m the student that wrote the letter thanking UVA for it’s support. Someone who read it sent me this site. I knew what UVA had been doing, but to actually get to see it through your pictures is even more meaningful. I will share this with my fellow students.

      Thank you all.

      Liz Hart
      SGA Director of Public Relations
      Virginia Tech Class of 2007

      Hoos for Hokies

      Thanks, Charlotte, very thoughtful and nicely done. The rivalry may be intense in the sports arena, but it is nice to know that the real relationship is one of mutual respect when it involves that which really matters in life.

      Re: Hoos for Hokies

      Thank you for the beautiful blog. I’ve a VT alumni who lives and works just minutes from VT and I have mentioned that VT and UVA are competitors, not hated rivals. We truly are one family here in Southwest Virginia and nothing has shown this to the world like this terrible, unthinkable tragedy. I would like thank you and the Hoos community for your support during this black time.

      What does Hoos for Hokies Mean?

      means the Hoos of UVA are supporting The Hokies of VT.

      Hoos for Hokies

      I am one of those Mom’s who had sons at both UVA and VT(at the same time)We loved the brotherly give and take and their Dad loved to wear clothing from both schools at the same time..I used to call UVA, Virginia’s pride and Virginia Tech, Virginia’s joy. What wonderful schools..both so beautiful in completely different ways. I am so touched that UVA is there for Tech. My thoughts are with everyone suffering from this horrible event. Your blog was so well done..Thank You

      Hoos for Hokies

      Thanks for your supporter UVA…it really means a lot to us!

      VT Hokies and UVA Wahoos…

      Hoos for Hokies!

      We’re all one big family

      This makes me even more proud to be a child of, and educated by, the commonwealth of Virginia. I went to Tech, I had many friends that went to UVA. We hated each other on the court, and on the field, but after directly following the cursing of each other during the game, we’d go back to toasting one another at the bar. I, for one, am touched by the generosity, the heartfelt words, and the amazing support from the Hoos of the world. You guys all helped to make this state great. Let’s just get back to normal– and hope that this brings us even closer.

      With love,
      A Hoo lovin’ Hokie.

      Thank you

      I attended the Appalachian School of Law shortly after the shootings occurred there and now this tragedy. Thank you for bringing a community together through your pictures; words are not always necessary.

      Another VT graduate saying thank you, Charlotte, for these photos. And thank you, UVA.

      Very much needed the support!

      As a VT graduate, I watched in shock and horror as my campus was turned into… well what it did. I sat in disbelief as events unfolded on my television. What’s resulted though from this event was an amazing outpouring of support and compassion. I was equally shocked and brought to tears when I found this page and realized that school, and sports rivalries aside, UVA stood with, prayed for, and %u2018went the extra mile%u2019, to show your support for VT, and to encourage us in our schools worst moment. I will always remember this moment in the years to come. Thank you UVA! WAHOO-WA && HOKIE HOKIE HOKIE HI!

      Hoos for Hokies

      As a W & M alumni – I understand how close-knit a campus can be and how precious our college years are. I mourn for the VA Tech Community but also applaud the VA Tech students and UVA students and many other University students in our country that are demonstrating their support, camaraderie, and amazing courage and strength in the face overwhelming tragedy and loss. At a time of life when your greatest concern is usually what to major in; these young men and women are showing our nation their grace and courage. May God Bless each and every one of them. I am so proud of them.

      those are some really beautiful photos. thanks for sharing them.

      I hadn’t had misty eyes through all of this until I saw your photos from UVA. Thanks for sharing. It’s very touching seeing how UVA was responding.

      Amazing. It’s incredible how people can come together. Like you said, don’t mess with your “family”….true, true.

      As always, thank you for sharing, you are incredible! And many kudos to the impressive student/faculty at UVA. What amazing people….

      Very moving images Charlotte, even from 5000 miles away. Duncan Kerridge

      Very touching.

      What’s Hoos for Hokies mean?

      Your pictures of course are their usual high quality.
      You’ve captured a bit of how the living react.
      I’ve lived in the same places that you have.
      Both my assistant and my nephew graduated from Tech.
      Thats’s all fine for us……
      If only there were a way to not need to say, “If Only.”

      I share this exact sentiment. These photographs moved me more than any news coverage I have seen.

      Thank you for sharing these, Charlotte. I think you made the right decision and captured this unique perspective for all of us to now witness.

      I’m not sure why, but this was the first time I cried. I guess it captured the pure emotion, without the (first) shock and (then) sensationalism I’ve gotten from the mainstream media.

      Thank you.

      thank you for these touching images. i think you did the right thing.

      how wonderful that you could be a part of this. thank you for sharing. this brought tears to my eyes.

      Thank you for these pictures. Thank you.

      beautiful pictures. made me cry. very very touching.

      Wow, I don’t know what to say. Thanks so much for sharing these.

      Thank you for posting these, Charlotte. When I couldn’t get any information straight from Tech yesterday, my first thought was “Virginia will give me information.” I’ve been going to the UVa website and getting updates through email since then. It’s gratifying to see the UVa community rally around the event.

      I started identifying as a Wahoo the moment I left the Tech campus, even though I didn’t enroll at UVa for another five years, but like you said… no one beats up my little brother.

      My husband is a W&M alumnus and I’m actually interested that they don’t seem to be approaching the situation in quite the same way. Perhaps it’s the relative size of the schools.

      I’m a student at UNC, and I saw the same sort of things here today, though I’m sure it hits a lot closer to home for you all than it does for us. Thank you for sharing your pictures- they give me hope that something good might come out of such a horrible thing.

      Wow, you really captured it all perfectly.

      These photos definitely brought tears to my eyes.

      Beyond that, I am glad that the newspapers in the area covered the events in a less sensational way than some others (the headlines are actually tasteful, for one thing). I applaud that.

      That’s an awesome turnout. Such amazingly emotional awesome photos. It is terrible what happened.

      Wow Charlotte. Thank you for capturing these.

      aw, man. that brings tears to my eyes. these are really touching.. what a great idea to capture an angle of this tragedy that might otherwise not be noticed.

      i went to william & mary and also spent a lot of time at tech (like you, most of my high school friends went there). i feel very sad.

      Charlotte Geary


      Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

      Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.