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Indians Add to Rich Diversity of Virginia Tech

A sizeable number of students and faculty of Indian origin add to the rich ethnic diversity seen on the sprawling campus of Virginia Tech,// some 430 km from here, where a gunman went on a shooting spree Monday and killed 33 people, including a professor of Indian origin.

Founded in 1872, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as the institution is formally called, has more than 25,000 students from as many as 100 countries and even an Indian Students' Association (ISA).

"As of now we don't have any news of any Indian student being a part of the causalities," the ISA said on its Web site. The association says it has more than 500 members and is the largest such foreign students' body in the university.

A public land grant university, the institution is located at Blacksburg in Virginia, with a campus spread over 2,600 acres. The main campus has over 100 buildings and even houses an airport. It also has off-campus facilities in six regions within the US and a study-abroad site in Switzerland.

The university has eight colleges and a graduate school, offering 60 bachelors' programmes, and 140 masters' and doctoral degree programmes.

Though the university has many departments, it is renowned especially for its agriculture, engineering, architecture, forestry, and veterinary medicine programmes.

The Indian professor, G.V. Loganathan, who was killed in Monday's shootout, was a member of the civil and environmental engineering department.

It is also one of the few civilian universities in the US with a corps of cadets or a full-time military training component, says the official Web site of the university.

With seven medal of honor recipients among its alumni, it has more honorees than any other institution of higher learning in the US with the exception of the US Military Academy and the US Naval Academy, says the Web site.

It is also ranked 56th in university research in the US, and the student-teacher ratio stands at 16:1.


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