Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Official portrait.

Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Youngkin will be Tech’s graduation speaker

Gov. Glenn Youngkin will address Virginia Tech’s Class of 2022 during university commencement exercises on May 13, continuing the school’s tradition of inviting new Virginia governors to deliver the commencement address. 

The commencement ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Lane Stadium. A complete schedule of commencement ceremonies and additional commencement information can be found on the commencement website.

Since 1990 with Douglas Wilder, every first-year Virginia governor has delivered the commencement address at Virginia Tech.

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Historical marker in Salem to be dedicated

Roanoke College graduate Kim Kyusik, a leader in the Korean independence movement, is being recognized by the Virginia Department of Historic Resource with a historic roadside marker.

Kim Kyusik. Courtesy of Roanoke College.

The Kim Kyusik historical marker will be installed and dedicated on Thursday, March 31 at 10:30 a.m. in the College’s Bank Building at the corner of Main Street and College Avenue in Salem.  

Kim Kyusik (1881-1950) was born in Korea and graduated from Roanoke College in 1903. Kim served the Provisional Korean Government based in China as secretary of foreign affairs, and later as minister of education and vice president. He advocated Korean independence at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, promoted the Korean cause in the United States as chair of the Korean Commission, and helped organize the Korean National Revolutionary Party in China. After World War II, Kim opposed permanent partition of Korea into North and South. He was kidnapped by the North Korean army during the Korean War and died in captivity. 

Kim was nominated by students from Cumberland Middle School, in Cumberland County as part of a contest sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Office of the Governor to nominate Asian American Pacific Islanders for historic markers. (See our previous story on how this became a class project in Cumberland County and the teacher’s commentary about the program).

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Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition returns to Virginia Tech

The Holocaust exhibit at Virgnia Tech. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

University Libraries at Virginia Tech will host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum that examines the motives, pressures, and fears that shaped American’s responses to Nazism, war, and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s, from March 24-May 4. 

The touring exhibition — based on the special exhibition of the same name at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. — is on Newman Library’s fourth floor next to the Prototyping Studio. Throughout April, the University Libraries will sponsor programming exploring American themes as they relate to the Holocaust.

“We were scheduled to host this exhibit in the spring of 2020 and had just put it up in the library when everything shut down for the pandemic,” library archivist Anthony Wright de Hernandez said in a statement. “Ultimately, the entire exhibit tour was delayed, but the American Library Association and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum wanted to be sure that all the libraries chosen as host sites had a chance to host the exhibit while they were fully open. So we are welcoming the exhibit back and inviting people to come and learn.”

Events scheduled in conjunction with the exhibit include:

Monday, April 4, 1-2:30 p.m.
Newman Library multipurpose room and Zoom
Queer Conspiracies?: Lesbian and Gay Men in Nazi Germany
In association with the Americans and the Holocaust: Traveling Exhibition and Virginia Tech Pride Week 2022, guest speaker Samuel Clowes Huneke will discuss lesbian and gay experience in Nazi Germany.

Tuesday, April 5, 6-8 p.m.
Lyric Theatre (135 College Ave.)
Film Screening: “Night Will Fall”
The Lyric Theatre will host a special free showing of the movie “Night Will Fall” with a post-screening discussion led by Virginia Tech Senior Instructor in the School of Performing Arts Karl Precoda.

Tuesday, April 12, 6-8 p.m.
Blacksburg Library (200 Miller St. S.W.)
Film Screening: “Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust”
University Libraries will host a special free showing of the movie “Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust” at the Blacksburg Public Library with post-screening discussion led by Virginia Tech Public Services and Reference Archivist Marc Brodsky.

Thursday, April 21, 1-2:30 p.m.
Newman Library multipurpose room and Zoom
American Immigration and Refugee Policy Throughout the Holocaust
Guest speaker Kathryn Perry Walters will discuss American immigration policy throughout the Holocaust, specifically focusing on refugee practices. The government’s role in the Jewish Refugee Crisis of the 1930s and 1940s is a contested historical subject. This talk will elaborate on existing debate by examining the proposal of the Wagner-Rogers bill and the creation of the War Refugee Board to analyze the methods in which the U.S. approached refugee assistance. It also will provide background on where today’s anti-foreigner attitudes evolved from and how refugee need had been downplayed, but also how it had been fought for, and demonstrate Americans’ role in international human rights protection.

Thursday, April 28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Virginia Tech Pylons (601 Drillfield Drive)
Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day – Reading of the Names
This program by Hillel at Virginia Tech commemorates Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). Volunteers will read aloud the names of both Jewish and non-Jewish individuals who perished during the Holocaust.

Learn more about the Americans and the Holocaust exhibit and related programming at Virginia Tech.  

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation for library sponsored events, please email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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Roanoke County sets meetings on comprehensive plan

Roanoke County will host seven open house meetings in April for residents to review draft objectives based on the public input received throughout  2021 on the county’s new comprehensive plan.  

All seven open house-style meetings are from 4-6 p.m. 

1. Catawba and Masons Cove: Masons Cove Elementary School – Monday, April 4

2. Glenvar: Fort Lewis Elementary School – Thursday, April 7 

3. Peters Creek: Green Ridge Recreation Center – Monday, April 11 

4. Bonsack/Vinton and Mount Pleasant: Charles R. Hill Community Center (Vinton) – Thursday, April 14

5. Back Creek and Bent Mountain: Bent Mountain Center – Monday, April 18 

6. Windsor Hills: Oak Grove Elementary School – Tuesday, April 19 

7. Cave Spring and Clearbrook: Cave Spring Elementary School – Thursday, April 21 

Learn more about the Roanoke County 200 Plan at Contact the Roanoke County Department of Planning at or 540-772-2065.