September 02, 2022

Caring for Our Community

Dear students, staff, and faculty,

This has been one of the most painful and heartbreakingly sad weeks in Lewis & Clark’s history. A student, who was just settling into our community and making new friends, tragically lost his life—leaving behind a bereft family. Two students were injured and required medical care. Other students, as well as staff, who were involved in the incident or provided assistance to the injured were traumatized. And the campus community as a whole was left reeling.

My heart goes out to everyone, most especially to the parents and family of the deceased student. As a parent myself, I can only imagine their pain and deep sorrow. I also feel the anguish of the parents whose children were injured—and I share their gratitude that those students are now recovering. I ask that we continue to support and lift up each of the affected individuals and families in the days ahead.

I also want to thank all of our community members for coming together in this difficult time. The staff and students who provided assistance in the immediate aftermath, or who traveled to the hospital to support the injured and their friends. The Campus Safety officers who were first responders, providing aid on the scene—and the facilities and emergency management staff who were tireless in their efforts. Those in Campus Living and Counseling Services who provided support and care—and our chaplain who offered comfort and space to students. The faculty who worked sensitively with students who needed time to heal. Alumni and friends of the school who reached out in support. Student body president Madeleine MacWilliamson BA ’24, who wrote a caring, thoughtful, and supportive letter to her fellow undergraduates. Individually and collectively, you exemplified the care and compassion for which Lewis & Clark is known—and I thank you more than I can say for that.

As we move into this three-day weekend, I ask that you take time for yourself to rest, reflect, heal, and reenergize. Reconnect with family and friends and tell them how much they mean to you. Be grateful for every moment and every opportunity you have. Seek professional help from our Counseling Service or others if you need it. And join me in lifting up those who were impacted by this tragedy.

I will be thinking of all of you—and giving thanks for the opportunity to work side-by-side with so many incredible and caring human beings.


With deep gratitude,

President Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan