On the morning of April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho—a student at Virginia Tech—shot and killed 32 students and teachers, wounding 17 others. Until the 2016 massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it was the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

Artist Jane Vance and Professor Lucinda Roy were teaching at Virginia Tech that semester, although neither were present on the morning of the shooting.


They returned to campus a week after the shooting when classes resumed for students who wanted to complete the term.

At StoryCorps, Jane Vance describes the inspiring way her class came together after the tragedy.

One of Jane’s former students, Kristen Wickham, was a freshman at the time of the shooting. Her friend Caitlin Hammaren was the only other student at Virginia Tech from Kristen’s home town of Westtown, NY, and was one of the 32 victims.


At StoryCorps, Kristen sat down with her husband Andrew Baginski to remember Caitlin.

Originally aired April 14, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Top photo: Virginia Tech students sing “Amazing Grace” at the conclusion of a candle light vigil on the drill field Tuesday, April 17, 2007, in Blacksburg, Va.  (AP Photo/Roanoke Times, Josh Meltzer)
Center photo: Lucina Roy and Jane Vance on the Virginia Tech campus. (StoryCorps/Erica Yoon)
Bottom photo: Kristen Wickham and her husband, Andrew Baginski in New York City. (StoryCorps)