As UMass Dartmouth students, faculty and staff return to campus and following the extraordinary events of the last few days, our community wants to thank all those responsible for securing the safety of our campus and extend our thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy.
Over the past several days we have created several opportunities for members of our community to gather for discussion, reflection, and fellowship. We will continue to create such opportunities so students and faculty can focus on teaching and learning as the semester nears its end.
CHANCELLOR DIVINA GROSSMAN'S MESSAGE TO THE COMMUNITY
As we begin the process of healing and returning to normal, I want to thank the members of the UMass Dartmouth community for the patience, courage and understanding you have shown during this very trying time.
No one could ever truly expect the extraordinarily distressing moment that was visited upon us on Friday, when the early morning brought with it the news that one of the suspects in the horrifying Boston Marathon bombing and in the killing and wounding of police officers was a UMass Dartmouth student.
This news was almost unimaginable.
Yet, the UMass Dartmouth community responded by providing the authorities with important insight and information -- and by evacuating the campus in a calm and orderly fashion.
We rose to the occasion and of that we should be very proud.
Of course, we are shocked and saddened by all that has transpired. I understand the pain this is causing our community, but I ask that you continue to stand together and support each other during the coming days. We are committed to assisting each and every member of the UMass Dartmouth family in coping with the impact of these events and will ensure that any assistance that you may need will be readily available.
I know that based on the extensive work of extremely qualified law enforcement officials from the campus, local, state and federal levels that the UMass Dartmouth campus is safe and secure. The person who brought this moment to us is no longer among us -- and the campus has been scoured -- and we have been assured of its safety.
While you may notice law enforcement officials on campus in the coming days, please know that this is simply part of their ongoing investigation. The work they needed to do to ensure our safety has been completed.
As you may know, I am still in the first year of my chancellorship.
I will tell you that I have been proud of the students, faculty, staff and alumni of UMass Dartmouth from the moment I arrived on campus last summer. In truth, I was proud of UMass Dartmouth even before that, such was the warmth I experienced and the excellence I observed during the search process.
My pride in this institution has grown over these months as I have witnessed the UMass Dartmouth community in action and have seen the quality of our academic programs, the scope and excellence of our research activities and have been moved and impressed by impact of our nationally acclaimed service activities.
It would have been easy to have faltered in recent days, to have felt dragged down by the actions of one who was given the privilege of being part of the UMass Dartmouth family.
But rather than taking that path, we have banded together and will continue to move forward together in the months, weeks and years ahead.
It was heartwarming to witness innumerable acts of kindness and compassion. One illustrative example among many was that several students with cars posted their cell numbers offering rides -- even to far distances -- to those seeking to go home but had no cars, and drove trips back and forth repeatedly.
We have demonstrated to the world who we are and the values we live by and will continue to do so.
Members of the UMass Dartmouth community will teach children, will heal the sick, will make discoveries that will benefit mankind and will always stand for reason and service and decency.
That is who were are ... and who we always will be.
I have never been prouder to be your chancellor than I am at this moment ... and it is a pride that I will always keep in my mind and hold in my heart.
As we continue to grieve for the victims of this tragedy, please know that we as a community are here for one another. We will get through this together.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Let me extend my deepest gratitude to the outstanding law enforcement professionals in the UMass Dartmouth Public Safety Department and to the administrators and staff who all rose to the occasion with professionalism and altruism and led us through this tragic time. My thanks go to our students and student leaders who also performed so ably and served this institution so well.
And finally, in the midst of crisis and turmoil, our Charlton College of Business students who competed at the Collegiate DECA International Conference in California this past week achieved remarkable honors. Congratulations to Tom Fitzpatrick and Jacqulyn Sardina for earning 1st place in Business Research, Matt Witzgall for 2nd place in Human Resource Management, and Joe Butler and Rachel Lamusta for garnering finalist medals! Kudos to Kaisa Holloway Cripps for her exceptional leadership! We are immensely proud of you.
We stand together. Together we are ... UMass Dartmouth Strong.
Have a good week, everyone.