A young man died this weekend. A young man with potential, with aspirations, with a future. A young man now absent from the lives of family, friends, classmates, and our community. A young man named Najee Ali Baker.
In the past, our two universities have collaborated to learn from each other and build up our Winston-Salem community, to honor one another and commemorate important moments. But now, we come together to mourn the tragic loss of a young life.
We share this deep sense of loss, and we are unified in our grief. To see the life of a promising young man cut short in an act of unnecessary and senseless violence is confusing, infuriating and saddening to us all. In a moment, we have been tragically reminded that life is fragile.
As we all try to make sense of what has happened, let us turn to each other. Let us unite as we mourn. Let us be quick to cherish, support, comfort and care for one another. Let us be people who practice abundant patience and kindness. Let us use the life and death of Najee Baker to become better people, better institutions and a better community.
In the days to come, as you grieve, also remember the family and friends of Najee Baker, and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Nathan O. Hatch
President, Wake Forest University
Elwood L. Robinson
Chancellor, Winston-Salem State University