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Charles Steger Jr., who led Virginia Tech through transition and tragedy, dies

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Charles William Steger Jr., who served as president of Virginia Tech from 2000 to 2014, died Sunday at his home in Blacksburg, the university confirmed Monday. He was 70 years old.

Steger gained national attention in April 2007 when a student-gunman killed 32 people on the college campus.

"With significant personal resolve, Steger led the university through its darkest days following the tragedy on April 16, 2007. Although the campus community suffered a tremendous collective trauma following the loss of 32 faculty members and students whose lives were taken, Steger’s steady hand of leadership inspired the university community to come together and recover, and the university became a model for organizational resilience," the university noted in a statement.

Steger's term as president will also be remembered as a time in which Virginia Tech grew academically and athletically.

"Virginia Tech grew in enrollment from 28,000 to 31,000, increased graduate enrollment by 12 percent, raised more than $1 billion in private funding, formed a school of biomedical engineering, created a public-private school of medicine, joined the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and constructed the Moss Arts Center and the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington as part of the largest building boom in university history," the university statement continued. "Under his leadership, Virginia Tech charted a course to become a top research university; a year after his retirement, the university’s research expenditures ranked 39th in the nation. During his presidency, Virginia Tech increased its total research expenditures from $192 million to more than $450 million."

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