The Office of Recovery and Support (ORS) was created in July of 2007 by then-President Charles W. Steger. The mission of ORS was to provide support — specifically to include improved two-way communication and facilitation of support services — for the families of those lost, the physically injured and their families, and others directly affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. In addition, ORS served as the central campus location that managed broader efforts of the university community, such as commemoration activities. The office was located in the Corporate Research Center and funded by a Department of Justice (DOJ) grant. The staff grew to a maximum of 11 with support of many, many community partners. Jay Poole served as its inaugural director from 2007-2008.
In the summer of 2010, as the DOJ grant ended, ORS transitioned physically and organizationally into Alumni Relations in the Holtzman Alumni Center with a staff of 7 and financial support from the Office of the President. It was decided that since the role of Alumni Relations is to engage with and maintain contact with the many thousands of our graduates, their families, and others who simply call themselves our friends around the world, it was a natural fit. The transition was complete in 2011 as the last physically injured students graduated.
The former Office of Recovery and Support is currently operating as Family Relations within the Virginia Tech Alumni Association. The remaining staff, Debbie Day and Kelly McCann, continue to engage with the families; coordinate communication and programs, including the April 16 Day of Remembrance; and provide feedback and guidance to a variety of entities.