Students were headed to class on Monday at Virginia Tech, the first year the school hasn't suspended instruction to mark the anniversary of a 2007 rampage that left 32 people and the gunman dead.
The massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Provost Mark McNamee, who chaired a committee that planned memorial events in the years after the shooting, said the return to classes reflects the lives of those slain.
"Their passion for education, their desire to do good in the world, their commitment to their disciplines come through so strongly that we felt being in classes was one special way of remembering them onward," McNamee said. "This is what they did, this is what we do, and it's important to us.