Vigil to Honor Victims of Recent Tragedies

Parrish Hall

President Valerie Smith and Dean of Students Liz Braun shared the following in a community message earlier today:

Dear Students, Colleagues, and Friends,

It seems unimaginable that we are writing yet again to mourn the loss of more lives to violence in this country and around the world. Today we hold in our hearts and stand in solidarity with the families, friends, loved ones, and communities of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota; Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Brent Thompson, Michael Smith and Patrick Zamarripa, the five police officers killed in Dallas, Texas, along with the nine police officers and two civilians injured in the same attack; and the victims of recent bombings in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Turkey.

This list is far too long and these lives are far too precious. We grieve with you and with communities around the world. We assert unwaveringly that black lives matter, that we support our law enforcement officials who protect and serve us daily, and that every nation around the world deserves justice, peace and security from atrocities that occur far too frequently.

Times like these can leave us feeling grief, anger, sadness, confusion, and more. We hope each of you takes the time to care for yourselves – whether by finding support within your local community wherever you are in the world or by reaching out to friends, family, and resources near or far.

If you are looking for support, someone to listen, or resources on campus that will help you to learn more about these events, please consider reaching out to:

Sadly, as shocking as these tragedies are, they are not unprecedented. They remind us that we must reaffirm our commitment to building “a beloved community” both on your campus and in the world beyond.

The Dean’s Office will be holding a vigil in Parrish Parlors and Porch on Tuesday, July 12 at 4:30 p.m. to honor the lives of those lost. This gathering will provide an opportunity to support each other and reflect on what we can do to bring more justice, peace, compassion, and hope into the world.

In solidarity,

Valerie Smith, President
Liz Braun, Dean of Students