Coming together and continuing our work is best tribute to the fallen in Aurora

Published: July 24, 2012



Last Friday, our state once again bore witness to a horrific act of violence that has stunned all of us. Like the Columbine shootings 13 years ago, the Aurora movie theater murders are a challenge to our hearts, our minds and our community itself.

At this difficult time, I want to offer my support to the people of Aurora, to Chancellor Don Elliman and our friends and colleagues at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, and to the CU-Boulder community as we struggle together to deal with the after-effects of a crime that is nearly inconceivable.

In offering these sentiments, I am joined by President Benson and Michael Carrigan, chair of our Board of Regents and a host of state and federal officials, including President Obama. All of us are united in the task ahead: to unite as a university and a community so that we can confront the evils of violence with the power of knowledge, and the solutions that arise from that power.

Though we are moved to anger and grief over the senseless loss of life, I believe our best way forward lies in reaching out with compassion to those victimized while continuing the causes that drive our community: research, teaching and service. Our campus researchers in law and in the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence have already contributed to the discussion and discourse in the immediate aftermath of the shootings, and other researchers on our campus and throughout the CU system will continue to add to our combined understanding of this awful event and all that might have contributed to it.

As that work continues, please know that your university stands with you. We have counseling resources available for those personally affected by the tragedy and I urge you to avail yourself of them. In the coming days, campus charitable and commemorative activities will no doubt continue, and we will keep you apprised of them.

In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with all of you and your families in this very difficult moment for us all.




Philip P. DiStefano, chancellor
University of Colorado Boulder