12-2-15 Events in San Bernardino, CA

To:   University Community
From:   President Ralph Kuncl
Date:   December 3, 2015

At times like this, words are inadequate to express our shock, outrage, and grief at the violence and loss we witness in our communities and our world.   In recognition of this, University Chaplain John Walsh has invited our campus community to a vigil today in which silence may be predominant.  This is fitting, and I encourage our students, faculty, and staff to join together on the steps of Memorial Chapel at 12:30 and take solace and strength from each other.

I want to acknowledge the feelings we are all having in response to the mass shooting in neighboring San Bernardino yesterday, in which 14 were killed and 21 injured, and the criminal investigation that continues today at a residence in our own city of Redlands.  I especially want to express, on behalf of our entire community, our profound grief that one of our own – School of Business MBA graduate Damian Meins ’93 – is reported to be among the victims.  This is as yet unconfirmed by County officials, but Damian’s name is being reported in the media.  The School of Business will let us know more as we receive confirmation and as we determine how to honor Damian.

To honor all victims of yesterday’s unspeakable tragedy, and in accordance with orders from the White House, we are lowering the University’s flag to half-staff. 

I also want to acknowledge, thank, and offer our Community’s support and solidarity with another School of Business alumnus who is intimately involved in the tragedy:  Chief of San Bernardino Police Jarrod Burguan ’07, ’10.  He is the steady, professional presence and the calm communicator who we have come to know and deeply respect through the current spate of press conferences.

As we advised students yesterday, if you are feeling concerned or anxious, or are simply trying to manage difficult feelings and grief, and you would like to talk with someone, you may call or visit the Counseling, Student Life, or Chaplain’s Offices.  The news of yesterday and today can be very difficult for any individual, and any community, to bear.

We are receiving some questions about our communications and actions yesterday during the long and very fluid series of events, and I’ll be sending a separate email answering some of those questions and concerns.  For now, I wish to simply join with the Community in sadness and a mutual sense of violation and loss, and encourage that we talk and be with each other as we continue to process it all.