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Yesterday, President George Bush, speaking at the Holocaust Museum, declared slain Virginia Tech Professor Liviu Librescu a hero.

Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, had used his body to barricade the door of his classroom in Norris Hall. Cho Seung-hui apparently fired off a shot and the bullet ripped through the door and stuck the professor.

While Bush was right to call Librescu a hero, his students knew him as one of the more easygoing profs. Michael DuVall, an interpreter who works with a deaf student in one of Librescu’s classes, recalled that he was known for not punishing kids who skip his class. On average, roughly half his students would show up unless it was closer to test time. “He’s a soft touch,” DuVall says. “Maybe too nice.”