G.V. Loganathan

G.V. Loganathan

Hometown: Tamil Nadu, India

Age: 51

Position: Professor

Location: Norris Hall

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Profile: G.V. Loganathan, a professor who had been at Tech for 25 years, was teaching advanced hydrology to 14 students Monday when the gunman arrived. His death was one of many the department of civil and environmental engineering is now mourning. Nine students were killed with Loganathan in the classroom, the department chairman said.

Loganathan, 51, who was born in India, was remembered as a quiet and dedicated scholar who took time to get to know each student he taught. He specialized in water systems and hydraulic networks.

In India, his brother G.V. Palanivel told the NDTV news channel from the southern state of Tamil Nadu: "We all feel like we have had an electric shock. We do not know what to do. He has been a driving force for all of us, the guiding force."

At his Blacksburg home, a friend said by telephone that a close network of friends and family respected his wife's and daughters' desire for privacy at this time.

Department chairman Bill Knocke described Loganathan as "pure of heart" and said he had won multiple teaching awards.

Students respected him, said Yvan Beliveau, director of the Myers/Lawson School of Construction at Tech, who remembered when Loganathan was a young faculty member who felt his teaching was subpar. "He worked really, really hard at it," and students responded, Beliveau said.

"There could be a class of 120 and G.V. would remember every student by name," Bill Knocke, the department chairman, said.

Loganathan received his bachelor's degree from Madras University in India, his master's from the Indian Institute of Technology and his doctorate from Purdue University. He had been an associate editor of the Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, a member of the faculty senate and a counselor on the university's honor court.

He was soft-spoken and formal. "It probably was six years into my tenure as department head before I got him to call me anything but Dr. Knocke. It was only after I refused to call him anything but Dr. Loganathan that he said 'OK, all right.' " On a hot Virginia day, Knocke would tell him, "It's the summer, lose the tie!"

And he was kind, his colleague Randy Dymond said. When Dymond's father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he told Loganathan and started to ask if Loganathan could cover his classes while Dymond was away. He didn't even have to finish the question.

Dymond, speaking by phone from Blacksburg, paused to collect himself.

"That's what we're doing for him now," he said. Figuring out how they can cover his classes.

-- Susan Kinzie and Chris L. Jenkins, The Washington Post, with Associated Press

© 2007 The Washington Post Company