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Skidmore College
Office of the President

A message from President Glotzbach about the tragic shooting in Florida

February 15, 2018
by PRESIDENT PHILIP A. GLOTZBACH

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 Guttenberg.

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