Tragedy at Virginia Tech

04-16-2007

Like so many of you, I am shocked and deeply saddened by the lives lost at Virginia Tech today. I know that as a university community our grief is particularly keen, and our hearts go out to the families of those affected. I have extended my condolences to their entire community through a letter to their President Dr. Charles Steger.

The tragedy at Virginia Tech can shatter our individual and collective sense of well-being, purpose, and security. If such horrific and senseless violence can be brought to a lovely campus in Blacksburg, Va. on a spring morning, we wonder where, if anywhere, we can feel safe. The sad reality is that in our world today no community is immune from unpredictable violence. From a federal building in Oklahoma City to a suburban high school in Colorado to a land-grant university in Virginia, we have seen a national, long-held sense of community challenged by purveyors of violence whose true motivations may never be truly known and surely never be understood.

I call upon the MSU community to join me in taking time to reflect upon and to honor the lives lost in Blacksburg. I especially call us to consider how precious we are to each other, no matter how deep and sometimes contentious our disagreements. As an inclusive, connected university, taking care of each other and taking responsibility for the character of our collective experience is part of our mandate. Our commitment to community and its underlying values is the greatest defense we can have against those who would disrupt that community with senseless acts of violence.

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