Community Message



June 13, 2016

Dear Harvard College Community,

It is with great sadness that we write you today in the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. We are confronted with many emotions as we learned of the lives cut short—outrage, pain, and a profound sense of loss. We speak on behalf of the entire College community when we say that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this brutal attack—and we stand in support of their families, friends, and loved ones, the people of Orlando, and specifically the BGLTQ community as they grieve.

We strongly echo President Obama’s sentiments that an attack on any person living in the US—regardless of their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation—is an attack on all of us. And as we process these events in the coming days and weeks, we hope that each of us finds ways to come together with our friends, families, and communities to support one another and affirming that each of us is entitled to live in a world where our dignity is respected. Some may turn to divisive rhetoric in the wake of this tragedy—we must resist this and stand together as one Harvard community. We believe that one way to honor those whose lives have been lost to intolerance and hatred is to demonstrate the power of a community defined by respect and compassion. Let’s stand together in person and digitally — consider adding #standinginlove or #loveislove to your social media posts.

Please know that many resources are available to offer support and help if you or someone you know is experiencing distress and needs support. Please see below for a list of some of these resources.

Rakesh Khurana
Danoff Dean of Harvard College

Dr. Allen Counter
Director of the Harvard Foundation

Emelyn dela Peña
Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


Silent Vigil
Steps of Tercentenary Theatre
Tuesday, June 14
5:00 p.m.

Counseling and Mental Health Services
Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Office of BGLTQ Student Life
Harvard College Women’s Center
Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations
Chaplains at Memorial Church
Bureau of Study Counsel