To Members of the Skidmore Community,
For the second time in this academic year, the Skidmore community has been directly
affected by a senseless act of violence. With great sadness, I must inform you that
Jaime Guttenberg, the daughter of Frederic Guttenberg '88, was among those killed
in the mass shooting that occurred on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
in Parkland, Florida.
Our hearts go out to Jaime's parents and to all those whose lives have been touched
by this tragedy. There really are no words to lessen the suffering that the families
of victims are feeling at this moment, but perhaps knowing that we stand with them
can provide some small measure of solace.
Unfortunately, the frequency of mass-casualty events in the United States has been
increasing in recent years. This issue is both political and cultural, and as citizens
we have an obligation to inform ourselves about both dimensions of this national problem.
The national debate about solutions to this epidemic will continue, and as a national
liberal arts college, Skidmore also has an obligation to help our students understand
this complex issue.
Our nation currently confronts many serious challenges. As we acknowledge these challenges,
let us do all we can to preserve our spirit of optimism—the necessary condition for
taking actions that can lead to positive change. News of tragic and senseless events
such as the Parkland shooting can wear down even the most determined sense of hope.
But let us reflect, first, upon the strength and resilience of the Skidmore community,
and may we never pull back from the ongoing hard work to make our own community a
model for others. Then let us always remember that our nation has exhibited those
same qualities of strength and resilience countless times in our history. Let our
elected political leaders hear your thoughts, and encourage them to find the courage
to take effective action. In short, we must be relentless in our determination to
persist in shaping our world in accordance with our highest values.
Above all, we send our love, thoughts, and prayers to the family and friends of Jaime