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Candlelight Vigil Today for Earthquake Victims

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

This week’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria is among the worst natural disasters of the past century, claiming the lives of more than 20,000 people to date, with devastating effects on millions more. We hold in the light all of those affected, including those in our community with ties to the region. 

The community is invited to a candlelight vigil for the victims today, Friday, Feb. 10, at 4:30 p.m. on Parrish Hall steps. My gratitude to the students and the Interfaith Center staff who came together to help organize this event. 

In addition to the lives lost, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 23 million people could be affected by this catastrophe. Several members of our community have asked what they can do to help. If you are able, please consider donating to an organization that is directly supporting people in the region, such as UNICEFSave the Children, or the International Rescue CommitteeThe New York Times and other media outlets have additional information on ways to support those in need

I want to remind everyone that the College has resources to help those of you who are struggling to cope with these events. Student deans and Residential Communities staff are ready to assist students, and Counseling and Psychological Services provides a range of mental health and emotional support services.

Faculty and staff members may want to explore the resources offered by our employee assistance program, Carebridge. In addition, each of the College’s medical insurance plans through Independence Blue Cross includes mental health benefits through Magellan. Both Carebridge’s and Magellan’s services are secure and confidential.

However you choose to act in response to this tragedy, I encourage you to do so with the empathy and care that helps bind our community in our pursuit of the common good.


Val Smith