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President Miller Responds to 10/16 Incident

Published date: October 16, 2013

At approximately 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16, VSU Police responded to an incident involving a large number of individuals. The scope of the incident led VSU Police to seek support from neighboring jurisdictions and the State Police to restore order. We are grateful to Chesterfield County Police, Petersburg Deputies and Police, Colonial Heights Police and the State Police for their assistance. 

In the course of the incident, a student suffered a stab wound to his leg. That student was treated at a local hospital and released. Through witness statements and social media video made available to investigators, VSU Police have identified a suspect. We extend thanks to the witnesses, primarily our students, who came forward to assist in the investigation.

Due to the nature and scope of the incident, we chose to enact a “lockdown” status from Wednesday evening until 7 a.m. Thursday, October 17. Classes and administrative functions resumed normal operations at 8 a.m.  Enacting lockdown is not a decision made lightly. Our decision was made with our students’ safety foremost in mind.  We had a very quiet evening.  We are reviewing homecoming activities to ensure the safety of our students, alumni, and guests. 

Wednesday’s incident is not indicative of the campus culture at VSU.  Those involved will be held responsible for their actions, both by the University and through the criminal justice system.

More common at VSU are the individual and collective success stories that merit recognition. For example, on Thursday morning I attended Aquaculture Field Day at Randolph Farm. This event provides outreach to small farmers to teach them how to improve their profits by effectively raising freshwater shrimp and fish. On Friday, October 18, we will recognize perhaps our most successful alumnus by officially dedicating the Reginald F. Lewis College of Business, the top ranked business school among all HBCUs. 

Finally, I want to congratulate one of our talented students, Maya Pendergrass.  Her impressive scholastic achievements, as well as interest in and commitment to the global education mission, were recognized with a full Semester at Sea HBCU Scholarship.  The HBCU scholarship provides nearly $24,000 in full tuition and room and board costs for an inside cabin, as she sails the globe to Build A Better World!

I want to assure students, faculty, staff, and alumni that we are taking every measure to make this year’s Homecoming memorable and safe. We welcome you to your Home On The Hill!

Keith T. Miller


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