WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr., attending a NASULGC meeting in Washington, D.C., this week issued the following statement regarding todays airline tragedy:

“Once again, Americaand New York, in particularhas experienced a devastating tragedy,” WVU President David Hardesty said.”While its too early to know if this was an accident or another terrorist attack, we offer our deepest sympathies to the residents of Queens and the state of New York, and to those traveling on the American Airlines airbus that went down this morning following takeoff from JFK Airport.

“At West Virginia University, we will continue to hold out hope for survivors and, in the meantime, continue to keep our campus security on a heightened alert and offer counseling and support to our students and employees in these uncertain times.”

University officials also want to remind students that the counseling phone line is 293-4431 or walk-ins can come to the 3rd floor of the Student Services Building. Faculty and staff may call 293-5590, the Faculty-Staff Assistance Program.

“We have over 500 students from the New York areaand another 900 from New Jerseywho may be trying to reach loved ones or are thinking about traveling home for the upcoming Thanksgiving break,”Hardesty added.”We want to help in any way we can.”