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University of the Cumberlands Holds Prayer Vigil for the Virginia Tech Campus Community


University of the Cumberlands students, faculty, and staff fill the Gatliff Chapel on Wednesday to offer prayers for the Virginia Tech victims, families and friends.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. –University of the Cumberlands faculty, staff and students held a prayer vigil Wednesday for the Virginia Tech campus community.

Dr. Jim Taylor, president of the university, began the service with a prayer, asking the audience to join hands. He then addressed the Gatliff Chapel’s packed congregation.


Dr. Jim Taylor reviews the campus’ safety measures in effort to comfort uneasy students.

“Although University of the Cumberlands has lowered all flags to half-mast, our souls are subdued and our feelings tender toward the entire Virginia Tech family. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with the members of the Virginia Tech family. Their grief is shared by all of us, and I urge everyone to keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” Taylor said.

Taylor also outlined Cumberlands security measures, which include The Bock Safety-Security building that is manned 24 hours a day. This central location handles security calls, safety issues, maintenance issues and the campus switchboard. The Bock personnel have radio contact with the county dispatch 911 center, the security guards and maintenance at all times. Other security features unique to Cumberlands include limited access to residence halls and restricted parking.

In addition to Taylor’s remarks, Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach Gary Rach added prayerful reflections on life and values.

“Such a terrible event reminds us how precious life is,” said Rach. “Some of us may be feeling scared and worried about our safety. Some of us are angry and wonder why something like this happens. Some of us are sad and cry.”

Rach, who organized the event, reminded students of support services readily available to them and encouraged students to seek out help, whether it is through friends, family, a coach, professor or Student Services.

“…if you know of someone who is disconnected from their friends and family and don’t have the resources, then take the time to talk to them. Be that friend, be their outreach. And if you can’t help them, then point them in the right direction,” he said.

Brad Bell, a junior at the university, offered specific prayer needs such as healing on Virginia Tech’s campus, comfort to the victim’s families and to the medical staff who tended to the needs of the wounded. Bell invited others in the gathering to voice additional needs and surrendered each in prayer.

The group vigil concluded with an open invitation to any who wanted to stay for smaller group prayer sessions and conversation.

University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, is a private liberal arts college in its 118th year of operation. Cumberlands offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study, 30 minors and nine pre-professional programs, graduate degrees and certifications in education as well as online and accelerated, nontraditional programs for adults.