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Reif: Honoring Officer Sean Collier

MIT President writes to community on commemorations for fallen officer.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif sent the following letter to the MIT community on the morning of April 22.

To the members of the MIT community:

Late Thursday night, an extremely promising young man gave his life to protect our community. We grieve with his family, his many friends and his fellow MIT police officers. Many at MIT knew and loved Officer Sean Collier; for those who didn't, he was someone we could all wish to have had the opportunity to know.

I write now to inform you of several ways you can participate in honoring his memory and his service. His family has asked that his funeral and wake remain private.

MEMORIAL CEREMONY with Law Enforcement
MIT's Briggs Field
Wednesday, April 24
12 noon

This event will bring to our campus several thousand of Officer Collier's fellow police officers. This will inevitably disrupt daily life on the west side of campus for some hours; we appreciate your patience with any inconvenience. The MIT homepage will link to details on the logistics of attending.

We are aware of two ways to make a donation in honor of Officer Collier:
  • In tribute to Officer Collier's character and values, the Institute is creating the Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund. It will be used to establish a Collier Medal — to be awarded to individuals who demonstrate the values of Officer Collier — and other causes. You are welcome to contribute to the memorial fund. Faculty may choose to make donations to it from their discretionary funds.
  • Officer Collier was a longtime supporter of the Jimmy Fund.
The MIT Police have created a website on which people can offer their condolences at

In the coming days, we will come together to mourn Officer Collier and to support his family and friends. MIT is also planning a commemorative gathering for our campus community for a date in May; we will share details about that event soon. A number of student groups are also planning their own celebrations of his life.

In the meantime, we also have the opportunity to recognize the service of his fellow MIT Police Officers, who continue to protect the peace of our campus through this acute moment of grief. I encourage you to offer your support and to let them know in person how much we appreciate their service.

L. Rafael Reif

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