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Dear Colleague Letters

April 16, 2013

Dear Campus Community,

As a college student, I lived in the Back Bay section of Boston for five years and was one of the thousands who would leave the Red Sox game on Patriots Day every third Monday in April to watch the finish of the Boston Marathon.

The spot, where yesterday's bombs took lives and injured so many innocent people, was one that Kate and I walked past less than a month ago when we went back to the city to watch our basketball teams play Northeastern.

My heart goes out to the families and individuals who have had their lives shattered by this senseless act of terrorism. I know I speak for all at Old Dominion University in sending our thoughts and prayers to the people of Boston.

Imagine completing a 26-mile run, only to be greeted at the finish line by this violent act?

An eight-year-old boy was one of the victims. He was there to celebrate his dad finishing the race.

Old Dominion's own Jim Duffy, from the Provost's office, crossed the finish line just minutes before the terror began. Thankfully, he is safe.

Last night, Kate and I hosted 45 student leaders at the President's House. Nearly everyone there asked the same question: "Why?"

Sadly, it was an answer I could not provide.

But what I can provide is a reminder that good is stronger than evil, compassion triumphs over malevolence. In our thoughts and in our actions, we have the opportunity to honor yesterday's victims and to defeat the chaos and fear engendered by acts of terror.


John R. Broderick