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Grimson: The strength of the MIT Community

Chancellor sends letter to community on recent events, upcoming tributes to fallen officer.
Community members and other visitors gather on Saturday at a makeshift memorial for MIT Police Patrol Officer Sean Collier, who was killed in the line of duty on the evening of Thursday, April 18.
Caption:
Community members and other visitors gather on Saturday at a makeshift memorial for MIT Police Patrol Officer Sean Collier, who was killed in the line of duty on the evening of Thursday, April 18.
Credits:
Photo: M. Scott Brauer

On Saturday, April 20, MIT Chancellor Eric Grimson sent the following letter to members of the MIT community in response to this week's tragic events.

Dear Members of the MIT Community:

We have lived through a week that began with bombings at the Boston Marathon and ended with a night of violence that took the life of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier. Today, we share a sense of relief that order has been restored, and we turn now to mourn Officer Collier and the victims of the bombings, and to honor the service of so many.

A strong MIT

As a longtime member of the MIT community, I am proud of how the people of MIT handled themselves during this ordeal. Members of our community provided aid and comfort under extraordinary circumstances. I have heard stories of students in our Boston fraternities and sororities who reached out to help those in need directly after the Marathon explosions. MIT groups and dormitories created memorials to Officer Collier and are offering warm gestures of support to our MIT Police officers. I am grateful for everyone's patience and cooperation with the "shelter in place" orders of yesterday, which made it easier for our staff to ensure that the community was safe during the manhunt. I am also grateful for all that individuals have done to support and console each other within our community.

Honoring Officer Sean Collier

Above all, I am profoundly grateful for the service and supreme sacrifice of Officer Collier, who was an extraordinary young man, an excellent police officer, and a truly beloved member of our community. MIT is in consultation with his family around opportunities to honor his memory. We are planning a major campus event to take place this week: communications will go out as soon as possible. We will also offer guidance for those who would like to make financial contributions that honor Officer Collier's memory.

Support and counseling

This has been a painful time. For those who may feel the need for personal support, please remember that MIT Medical, S3, ODGE, the Chaplains, housemasters and residential life staff are all available to help.

Events such as we have endured during the past week test us, and it has been reassuring to see how the MIT community has shown its strength and decency. To everyone across the Institute who has helped secure our campus, comfort others, ensure continued access to resources, and strengthen our community, thank you.

Sincerely,
Eric Grimson
Chancellor
Bernard Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering, EECS, MIT

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