Dear Colleagues and Students,

Well, it’s been a week.

Thanks to all of you for your patience and support for each other during the recent snowstorm. I do understand the frustration and difficulty that tough weather and school cancellations create for people, particularly parents whose kids have a snow day when they don’t. For those who want a better idea of how CSU closure decisions get made, I asked that we post an explanation on the Public Safety site. It’s not a perfect process (as many of you have emphatically communicated to me over the past few days), but it’s also not something we take lightly.

On the plus side, from the pictures I’ve seen online, it’s clear CSU students know how to make the most of a snow day. I’ve also heard a lot of stories over the last few days about students — ROTC members, football players, a group of guys on Springfield, another group by the Otterbox offices in Old Town, and many others — who jumped in over and over again to help people whose cars got stuck in the snow.

This generosity of spirit — this abundant kindness toward strangers — seems even more worth celebrating than usual today, as we follow the strange, disturbing news out of Boston. Certainly, the terror inflicted at the Boston Marathon this week has put our own weather-related inconveniences in perspective. Our hearts and minds have been with the victims and their families and friends — as well as with the bystanders, the journalists, and the first-responders who witnessed the devastation and the loss. I know that some members of our campus community have been personally affected, and as always we have counseling resources through our CSU Health Network and the Employee Assistance Program for anyone who wants support working through these issues. Many others of us who weren’t personally impacted are nevertheless concerned with what happened — and also with what has appeared to be stereotyping and a rush to judgment by some news organizations reporting on the unfolding incident.

Still, even in the face of such tragedy, and again with the fire this week in Texas, we were stirred by those whose first impulse was to run toward the victims — to help and give hope.

It’s this impulse that we need to celebrate, even as here on our own campus we deal with the loss of several students and members of our campus community over the past month — even as some of us struggle to understand and find meaning in the face of such heartbreak.

This morning, the Fort Collins Interfaith Council sent out a simple message: “Now more than ever, it’s important to take time to recognize the light in the world.” That’s the thought I want to leave with all of you as we head into a well-earned weekend. Let’s recognize the good around us and commit to taking care of one another — to being or becoming the kind of people who push cars out of snowdrifts without being asked, who offer comfort to others and a welcome to those who feel alone, who try first to understand rather than judge, and who look out for each other with courage and care.

Let’s celebrate the light in this world — for the people of Boston, and for each other.


Dr. Tony Frank