Dear Colgate Community Members,
The events of the past week have deeply affected this nation and have touched many members of our community. The terrible violence at the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh, the shooting that took place in Kentucky after a failed attempt by the gunman to enter a black church, and the pipe bombs mailed to political leaders, media outlets, and others are direct attacks on the highest values of this nation and the Colgate community. On behalf of the Colgate community, I want to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the congregations and families affected.
Our collective work as educators, teachers and learners is ever more important during these difficult times. It is our essential work, and our contribution to the world. All of us at this university contribute to supporting, creating, and transmitting knowledge. We seek to do so with care, humility, empathy and understanding. We seek to know truth, and to align ourselves with its pursuit. In doing so, we are developing leaders needed to repair the rifts that are currently dividing our country. While we still experience divisions, tension, and failures of community, we must continue to do the hard work necessary to help create a world less driven by fear, ignorance and hatred. This aspiration is at the very heart of our identity as an institution of higher education and a residential academic community.
Let us acknowledge and applaud how the Colgate Jewish Union and other organizers of the candlelight vigil this week composed a program that was steadfast in answering hatred with care, division with community, and violence with a brave faith in humanity. Their efforts epitomize how this Colgate community faces adversity and comes together at a time of profound tragedy and loss.
Brian W. Casey