Virginia Tech Victims RememberedWe continue to remember some of the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Friends share their stories and impressions about some of those who were lost in Monday's shooting.
We continue to remember some of the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Friends share their stories and impressions about some of those who were lost in Monday's shooting.
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
And we're going to close again today with words about a few more of the victims at Virginia Tech.
Mr. HUGO QUINTERO (Friend): He was part of me, and I was part of him.
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
That's Hugo Quintero speaking about his best friend, Daniel Perez Cueva, a 21-year-old junior studying international relations. They'd been friends since high school in Woodbridge, Virginia. Remember how that begins, you start talking in the lunch line? Well, that's how Hugo and Daniel began.
Mr. QUINTERO: Yeah, he wanted to be somebody. He wanted to represent his family. He wanted to be, you know, like every immigrant, including myself, you know, we want to be the best that we can be, you know, accomplish the American dream, and the next thing you know, while you're trying to accomplish the American dream, you're dead.
CHADWICK: Maxine Turner was 22 years old, a senior studying chemical engineering, about to graduate with a job waiting. She was in an engineering sorority, Alpha Omega Epsilon, with her friend, Beth Fairchild(ph), and they both practiced the martial art Tae Kwan Do.
BRAND: Beth writes this about her sorority big sister: Max was, if anything, a great friend. She'd always be there for you through the good times and bad, and was only a call away. She was very peace-loving and friendly, which only accentuates the horrible tragedy that befell her.
CHADWICK: Maxine Turner, like many of the student victims, died in a German-language class that was taught by Christopher James Bishop. He was known as Jamie. Jason Eric Lundaberg(ph) became friends with Jamie after they met several years ago at a science fiction convention in North Carolina.
BRAND: Jason writes in his blog: We would sometimes watch serious films and discuss them thoughtfully afterward or cheesy B-movies that we would yell out and make snarky comments a la "Mystery Science Theater 3000." We would sometimes just hang out and talk about books or movies or comics or art. He was always generous with his time.
CHADWICK: And he was an artist as well as being a professor at Virginia Tech (unintelligible) without him in it. Erin Peterson was just a freshman at Virginia Tech, not set to graduate until 2010. She excelled in high school at academics and sports. Her basketball coach, Pat Deegan, says she was just a special individual.
Mr. PAT DEEGAN (Basketball Coach): She was an excellent athlete, outstanding basketball player, but most importantly, she was one of - and I've been teaching and coaching for 27 years - she was as fine, if not the finest, young lady I ever had the pleasure to, you know, to work with, because she made it her business to make everyone around her a better person. We had the basketball team and some other kids in a meeting room, and this was suggested (unintelligible) and I followed through on it to ask the kids to write down a little anecdote about Erin that made her special, made Erin special to them.
And I think there were probably 16 kids in the room, and as we went around at least 14 of them told the story of how at one point they'd just come to school and didn't know anyone, and Erin came over and introduced herself. They were afraid because they were going to start their first varsity basketball game and Erin reassured them that everything was going to be all right over and over and over again. The stories were about her reaching out. The stories were about her laughing. The stories were about her being concerned for the others around her.
CHADWICK: Basketball coach Pat Deegan remembering Erin Peterson, one of the 32 people killed by the Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho.
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Remembering Virginia Tech's Shooting Victims
When a gunman opened fire in a classroom building on the Virginia Tech campus Monday, he took the lives of at least 30 people, including students and faculty members. Two more students died in an earlier shooting at a dorm. Here, a brief look at those victims whose names have been confirmed by NPR:
Alameddine, 20, was a sophomore English major from Saugus, Mass. A memorial page on Facebook.com describes him as "an intelligent, funny, easygoing guy." Alameddine was killed in the classroom building, Norris Hall, Robert Palumbo, a family friend, told the Associated Press. Photo from Facebook.com.
Christopher James Bishop
Bishop, 35, was a German instructor teaching in a classroom in Norris Hall before he was killed. He moved from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to Virginia Tech two years ago when his wife got a job there. Bishop, known as Jamie, grew up in the small town of Pine Mountain, Ga. He attended the University of Georgia and also spent time in Germany as a Fulbright scholar. In addition to languages and teaching, Bishop loved art and technology. His friend, Jacques Morin, said Bishop was passionate about everything.
Jacques Morin, Who Worked With 'Jamie' Bishop at the University of North Carolina: Bishop Was Usually 'The Happiest Person You Will Ever Find'
Hear Pam Fessler Report on How Jamie Bishop Is Being Remembered in His Hometown of Pine Mountain, Ga.
Bluhm, a graduate student, was working toward a master's degree in water resources, according to the Virginia Tech Web site. He had received an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in civil engineering. On a memorial page at Facebook.com, Amy Miley of Virginia Tech wrote, "Brian was a very happy individual. You couldn't help but smile when you were around him. Let's all shed our tears and then smile in his memory." Photo from Facebook.com
Clark, 22, was a senior with a triple major in biology, English and psychology. The native of Columbia County, Ga., was known by the nickname "Stack." Clark was one of the first two victims killed at the Virginia Tech campus on Monday. He was a student resident adviser at the West Ambler Johnston dormitory, where he was gunned down. Clark was a just a month away from graduation. He was active in the school's "Marching Virginians" band. He had hoped to pursue a doctorate in psychology. Photo from Facebook.com
Denise Aspell on Her Friend Ryan Clark: ‘He Would Always Make You Smile’
Cloyd was an international studies major from Blacksburg, Va. Cloyd's father teaches accounting at Virginia Tech, her former pastor, the Rev. Terry Harter, told the Associated Press. The family moved to Virginia in 2005 from Champaign, Ill., where they were active members of Harter's church. Harter told the Associated Press that Cloyd was a "very delightful, intelligent, warm young lady." She played basketball and volleyball in high school and went on mission trips to Appalachia, he said. Photo from Facebook.com
Couture-Nowak was a French instructor at Virginia Tech. Her daughter, Francine Dulong, told The Daily News of Halifax, "My mother was a very big opponent of guns; she really abhorred violence, especially with guns. I definitely could see her fighting to the end." Richard Landry, a spokesman for the francophone school board in Truro, Nova Scotia, told the Associated Press Couture-Nowak was one of three mothers who pushed for funding to begin a French school in the Canadian town, where she lived in the 1990s. Photo from Facebook.com
Richard Shryock, Chair of Virginia Tech’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Says Couture-Nowak Was ‘Very Passionate About Her Teaching, About Her Students, and About The French Language.’
Granata, 45, was a professor of engineering science and mechanics. He had served in the military and later conducted orthopedic research in hospitals before coming to Virginia Tech. He and his students researched muscle and reflex response and robotics. Ishwar Puri, head of the school's engineering science and mechanics department, says Granata was one of the top five biomechanics researchers in the country, and was working on movement dynamics in cerebral palsy.
Ishwar Puri on Kevin Granata: He Was a Top Researcher, 'a Good Husband and a Fine Father'
Gwaltney, 24, of Chester, Va., was a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering. Gwaltney was close to finishing his degree. His high school principal, Robert Stansberry, told the Associated Press that Gwaltney had been named "Best guy to take home to your parents" in high school, where he was also sports editor for the school newspaper. Photo from Facebook.com
Hammaren, 19, was a sophomore majoring in international studies and French. She graduated in 2005 from Minisink Valley High School in Slate Hill, N.Y., and was a talented musician, said Dr. Martha Murray, superintendent of Minisink Valley Central Schools. Hammaren played the violin and sang. She also was a strong student and wanted to go into international politics, Murray said. "She actually has been described as someone who was like a magnet for other kids and a role model. Always very positive," Murray said. Students at the high school have talked about Hammaren in their classes, and school officials are trying to do what her father told Murray he wanted them to do: "Celebrate her." Photo from Facebook.com.
Dr. Martha Murray on Caitlin Hammaren: ‘She Was a Wonderful Music Student’
Herbstritt, 27, was a graduate student in civil engineering. Family members said in a statement that he was a good storyteller and a fun-loving person with a great sense of humor. He liked to kayak, run and hike and loved the outdoors. They also described him as "a bright young man, a hard worker and a wonderful son and brother." Photo courtesy of the Herbstritt family
Rachael Elizabeth Hill
Hill, 18, a freshman, graduated from Grove Avenue Christian School in Henrico County, Va. Her high school superintendent and pastor, Clay Fogler, said in a statement that "the world has lost one of its brightest prospects." He said she was beautiful, intelligent and a leader, and she had a close relationship with her parents. "One of her beloved scriptures is Song of Solomon, 8:5 — 'Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?'" he said. "Rachael saw herself as the one coming out of the wilderness and needing to lean on her Savior more and more." On a memorial page set up on Facebook.com, Hilary Albert of East Carolina wrote, "God wanted another beautiful and perfect angel up there in Heaven with him." Photo from Facebook.com
Hilscher, 19, was a freshman majoring in animal and poultry sciences. A native of Woodville, Va., Hilscher was a 2006 graduate of Rappahannock County High School. She was known around her hometown as an animal lover, and had worked at a veterinarian's office there. On a memorial page on Facebook.com, Lauren Kintner of Virginia Tech recalled, "Emily was amazing. She was so filled with life and always had something wonderful to say or was always making me smile." Hilscher was one of two people shot at the West Ambler Johnston dorm; the other was Ryan Clark. Photo from Facebook.com
Lane, 22, was a senior studying civil engineering. He had been valedictorian of his high school class in Narrows, Va. According to Lane's friend, Justin Waldron, the school put up a memorial to Lane that included pictures, musical instruments and his athletic jerseys. Lane played the trombone, ran track, and played football and basketball. Waldron said in a Facebook entry that Lane was "loved by all and hated by none." Photo from Facebook.com
Matthew La Porte
La Porte, 20, was a sophomore from Dumont, N.J., majoring in university studies. He was a 2005 graduate of Carson Long Military Institute, a private boys' school in New Bloomfield, Pa., that offers military training, according to its alumni association's Web site. During a graduation speech, he said that the school had changed his life, according to the Associated Press. "I know that Carson Long was my second chance," he said. He was attending Virginia Tech on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and also was a member of the Corps of Cadets. Photo from Carson Long Military Institute.
Lee, 20, was a freshman majoring in computer engineering. He attended William Fleming High School in Roanoke, Va. His principal, Susan Willis, said Lee came to the United States from China in elementary school and didn't speak English. He changed his name from "Henh" to "Henry" when he became a U.S. citizen last year. Lee, who was the salutatorian of his class, was reluctant to speak at his graduation in June because he was nervous about talking in front of thousands of people. But he eventually agreed, and Willis said it was "a proud moment for him." Teachers at William Fleming High who saw Lee over Christmas break said he was smiling and upbeat about his future at Virginia Tech. Photo from Facebook.com
Susan Willis Shares the Story of Lee’s Salutatory Address
Tequila Cooper, Lee's Friend Since Middle School: He Was 'Always Smiling, Always Helpful'
Librescu, 76, was an engineering science and mathematics lecturer. He was among the victims at Norris Hall. Students say Librescu tried to keep the gunman from entering the room so that others could jump out of the windows to save themselves.
Born and educated in Romania, Librescu was internationally known for his research in aeronautical engineering. He was a Holocaust survivor; Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Engineering department head Ishwar Puri said Librescu, who was born in a communist country, had a "great thirst for freedom."
Ishwar Puri on Liviu Librescu: 'He Was a Giant' as a Scholar
Lionel Librescu Talks About His Father
G. V. Loganathan
Loganathan, 51, was a professor of civil and environmental engineering. He was born in southern India and had been a professor at Virginia Tech since 1982. He taught courses in hydraulics, hydrology and water resources engineering and was a core adviser for undergraduates in the department. His students described him as one of their favorites, and he received several awards for excellence in teaching. On a Virginia Tech Web site, one colleague, Dr. William Knocke, described Loganathan as "truly one of the most outstanding classroom educators within the College of Engineering."
G.V. Loganathan's Colleague, Mark Widdowson, Says He Was 'The Kind Of Person You Love to Work With'
Lumbantoruan, 34, was a civil engineering doctoral student from Indonesia. His family told the Associated Press he wanted to become a teacher in the United States and they sold property and cars to pay his tuition. "We tried everything to completely finance his studies in the United States," said his father, Tohom Lumbantoruan. "We only wanted him to succeed in his studies, but ... he met a tragic fate." Lombantoruan's aunt, Christina Panjaitan, described her nephew as hardworking and intelligent. Photo: Ahmad Zamroni/AFP/Getty Images
McCain, 20, of Hampton, Va., was an international studies major. On her MySpace.com page, she said Jesus Christ was the love of her life. Leonard Riley, a former pastor at her church, Restoration Church-Phoebus Baptist, told The Virginian-Pilot he has known the family for about 10 years. "You meet a lot of young people in your life, but not a lot will make the impression that Lauren did," he said. "To know her was to love her. She was always ready and willing to do for someone else." Photo from MySpace.com
O'Neil, 22, was an engineering graduate student from Lincoln, R.I. His friend Steve Craveiro told the Associated Press that O'Neil was a hard worker and someone who never got into trouble. "He loved his family. He was pretty much destined to be extremely successful. He just didn't deserve to have happen what happened," Craveiro said. O'Neil also played guitar and wrote songs that he recorded and posted on his Web site. Photo from Facebook.com
Ortiz, 26, a graduate student studying civil engineering, was from Puerto Rico. "He was an extraordinary son, what any father would have wanted," Ortiz's father, also named Juan Ramon Ortiz, told the Associated Press. Neighbors of the family in Bayamon, a San Juan suburb, told the Associated Press that Ortiz was a quiet and dedicated son who played in a salsa band with his father.
Panchal, 26, was a graduate student from India who wanted to become an architect. Her friend, Chetna Parekh, who lives in Borivali, India, told the Associated Press that Panchal was thrilled when she was admitted to Virginia Tech last year. "She was a brilliant student and very hardworking. She was focused on getting her degree and doing well," Parekh said. Photo from Facebook.com
Daniel Perez Cueva
Perez Cueva, 21, a native of Peru, was majoring in international relations. Friend Hugo Quintero described him as "very responsible with schoolwork, very mature" but with a humorous side. The friends, who met in the lunch line in high school in Woodbridge, Va., liked to joke around. Quintero said Perez Cueva had been excited about applying for internships with the French and Italian embassies in Washington.
Hugo Quintero: Daniel Perez Cueva 'Was a Great Friend'
Erin Nichole Peterson
Peterson was a freshman majoring in international studies. She had been a basketball standout at Westfield High School in Chantilly, Va., and was inducted into the National Honor Society as a high school senior in 2005. Peterson's high school basketball coach, Pat Deegan, said she was a good student and excellent athlete, who "made it her business to make everyone around her a better person." He said members of the basketball team shared anecdotes about how Peterson reached out when they were new to the school or nervous about playing their first varsity game. Peterson played on the varsity team for three years and was captain her senior year. Seung-hui Cho, identified as the gunman by police, attended the same high school. Photo from Facebook.com
Pat Deegan on Erin Peterson: 'She Made It Her Business to Make Everyone Around Her a Better Person'
Michael Pohle Jr.
Pohle, 23, of Flemington, N.J., was a biology major close to graduating from Virginia Tech. Pohle had played football and lacrosse while attending Hunterdon Central Regional High School. "He was a great, all-around kid, and it's just tragic that his life was cut so short in such a senseless act of violence," his high school vice principal, Craig Blanton, told The Star-Ledger of Newark. Photo from Facebook.com
Pryde, 23, was a graduate student from Middletown, N.J. She had been in G.V. Loganathan's advanced hydrology class when she was killed, her adviser, Mary Leigh Wolfe, told the Asbury Park Press. Wolfe, a professor of biological systems at Virginia Tech, said Pryde graduated with a bachelor's degree in biological systems engineering last spring. "She always tried to make a difference herself, rather than try to ask someone else to do something," Wolfe told the newspaper. Wolfe had traveled with Pryde to Ecuador last year to study water systems there.
Mary Karen Read
Read, 19, was a freshman from Annandale, Va. She hadn't yet picked a major at Virginia Tech. "I think she wanted to try to spread her wings," her aunt, Karen Kuppinger, told the Associated Press. Read, who was part of an Air Force family, was born in South Korea and had also lived in Texas and California. Photo from Facebook.com
Samaha, 18, was a freshman from a close-knit Centreville, Va., family of Lebanese descent. She loved acting, dance and drama and was studying French, said Luann McNabb, a family friend. Samaha was close to her older brother and sister, and her family traveled to Beirut to visit her mother's family almost every summer. Samaha had attended Westfield High School, where she won a talent show last year with a belly dance, McNabb said. Victim Erin Peterson and gunman Seung-hui Cho attended the same high school. Photo courtesy of Vincent Posbic
Luann McNabb on Reema Samaha: 'Reema Had a Love of Life That Was Infectious'
Waleed Mohamed Shaalan
Shaalan, originally from Egypt, was a doctoral student in civil engineering. He began attending Virginia Tech in the fall of 2006. According to the Muslim Students Association at Virginia Tech, he had been married for three years and had a 1-year-old son. His roommate, Fahad Pasha, said on the association's Web site that Shaalan was planning to bring his family to Virginia soon. "He was the simplest and nicest guy I ever knew. We would be studying for our exams and he would go buy a cake and make tea for us," Pasha said. Photo from Facebook.com
Sherman was a sophomore majoring in history and international relations. She graduated in 2005 from West Springfield High School in Springfield, Va. Her friend Buddy Miller, also a sophomore at Virginia Tech, said Sherman wanted to join the Peace Corps after college. Sherman loved the Russian language and Russian history, Miller said. He described her as someone who was always happy and optimistic. Photo from Facebook.com
Leslie Sherman's Friend Buddy Miller: She 'Was So Selfless, Was Always Nice'
Turner, a senior from Vienna, Va., was majoring in chemical engineering. She was also a mentor to fellow chemical engineering student Beth Fairchild. They were both members of an engineering sorority, Alpha Omega Epsilon, and shared a love of Tae Kwon Do. Fairchild writes this about her sorority "big sister:" "Max was, if anything, a great friend. She'd always be there for you, through the good times and bad, and was only a call away. She was very peace-loving and friendly, which only accentuates the horrible tragedy that befell her." Turner died in a German-language class taught by Christopher James Bishop. Photo from Facebook.com
White, 20, was a junior majoring in international studies. Chance Hellmann, who graduated with White from Smithfield High School in Virginia and attends Virginia Tech, told the Daily Press of Hampton Roads that White worked cleaning stables and caring for horses at a barn in high school. She was known for loving animals and worked summers as a lifeguard. Photo courtesy of the White family