The president of Virginia Tech announced his retirement Tuesday, satisfied he had elevated the university's reputation and acknowledging that the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history on his campus would be a part of his legacy.
Charles Steger, 65, continues to be a central figure and criticized for the way the Blacksburg campus responded on April 16, 2007, when a student-gunman killed 32 students and faculty before killing himself.
"It's part of our legacy, it's part of history," Steger said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It was an unprecedented tragedy."
Steger said he will draw on the killings, in part, for a book he plans to write in retirement on the resilience of communities to recover from disasters, manmade and natural. Tech, he said, was able to move on after the shootings because of a strong sense of community.