April 16, 2013
A message from President Paul LeBlanc:
I share your shock and sadness at the carnage that happened at yesterday's Boston Marathon. For all the good in the world, we are reminded once again that there are individuals capable of every evil.
What we have learned from other past events is that there is often ample assistance immediately afterwards, a heartening reflection of people’s desire to help and to do something in the face of disaster. However, it is often in the medium and longer term when help is most needed and less available. So I have asked Jim Winn of our Public Safety Office to reach out to officials to see if there are any needs we can help with immediately, such as sheltering displaced runners far from home. I suspect that people have been largely cared for at this point.
I have also asked Sarah Jacobs to work on the other ways we can be useful. For example, I hope we might have the Red Cross hold a blood drive here on campus so people can donate. Individual stories will emerge and many of the grievously injured will have needs that stretch out far into the future. We will see what we can do to help. If any of those victims are closer to us in N.H., there may be many opportunities that range from actual volunteer teams to help families in one way or another to fundraisers for ongoing medical expenses. I’ve never seen a campus so responsive to the needs of others and I’m sure we will be so this time. We will keep you informed and invite you to participate in whatever ways you can.
It's not my place to suggest how you should "process" yesterday's events, but I will share my own thoughts for what they are worth:
I hope we look to the British, who in the face of IRA bombings and their more recent July 7, 2005, London bombings, continued their routines and took a stalwart and unflinching stance to the threats. I heard one commentator say of the Marathon, "It's all changed forever." That feels like surrender to me. I instead resolve to attend next year's race and I hope as many of you who are interested will join me. That is one small way to take a stand and say while a few evildoers yesterday robbed Boston of its annual Spring ritual of Red Sox, running and Patriot’s Day celebrations, they will not steal it from our future. Nor will they shake our belief that most people are brave, good and tough-minded.
As soon as we have more information about how the SNHU community can help, we will let you know.
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Timothy Woodward grew up in a small town in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in film and writing in California and an MFA in Fiction from SNHU.