Dear Wake Forest Community,
Lives were shattered and our nation stunned by the horrific and senseless mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday. Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to all those who lost family members and friends, to those injured, and to all those touched by this unthinkable event.
Freedom of conscience and the right to worship freely were causes to which the founders of Wake Forest, in the Baptist tradition, were especially committed. To attack a house of worship is an attack on the very ideals that founded our nation. The overt anti-semitism expressed in this attack is particularly painful.
This act of hatred and violence touches each of us, regardless of our religion or creed. It has no place in a civil world. As we try to comprehend the incomprehensible, let us be reminded again of the bonds of friendship and respect, of understanding and community that we aim to build and sustain here at Wake Forest. Please, be conscientious about your personal wellbeing, and that of your friends, in the aftermath of this tragedy. Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff who are struggling or just want to talk.
The University Counseling Center may be reached at 336-758-5273 and the Office of the Chaplain may be contacted at 336-758-5210. The Employee Assistance Program is available to faculty and staff at 336-716-5493. We encourage anyone having a difficult time to seek support.
Let us not become hardened by yet one more violent act, but instead let us renew our efforts to reach out to others, seek to understand and bridge differences, and try to listen with open and compassionate hearts and minds. Our strength is in those common bonds that transcend our diversity.
Nathan O. Hatch