Dear Orange Friends:
Like so many in our Orange community, I watched with concern and dismay all weekend as horrific hate crimes were committed in Pittsburgh, where 11 Jewish congregants were killed and many injured at a peaceful house of worship. I felt similar despair late last night, when I learned that two African-Americans were slain in an apparent hate crime while in a grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky.
Syracuse University has a long history of inclusion, and of rejecting hatred and violence. We are particularly proud of this history, and of our University as a place where many Jews and many African-Americans have long thrived among our students, faculty, staff and alumni. As a university, we have and will continue to reject acts of racist and anti-Semitic hatred and violence.
Many in our community gathered in a vigil at Hendricks Chapel last evening to show concern and support for those in Pittsburgh and for our Jewish community. The Orange people who turned out were of all faiths and all races. I thank our community for standing up last night for our values.
This week on campus, we remember those, including from Syracuse University, who lost their lives thirty years ago when Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed in a crime of hatred and terror. Thirty years ago and now, we at this University all stood up to hatred and terror. And we worked assiduously to assure that those who use violence in pursuit of extremism will not define us or our values.
I ask that we continue this work now and in the days ahead.