Message from President Alger on violence in Charlottesville

JMU News

Dear members of the James Madison University community,

Along with people around the Commonwealth and around the country, I want to express our support for friends and colleagues in nearby Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia in the wake of the terror and violence they experienced this weekend. 

First and most importantly, I ask that we all keep in our thoughts and prayers the individuals who lost their lives or were injured, along with their families and friends at this difficult time including Aubtin Heydari, son of JMU Professor M. Hossain Heydari, who was injured during the events.

We also remember and are grateful for the bravery and service of members of multiple law enforcement agencies and other first responders who put themselves in harm’s way to protect and help the community. We are deeply saddened by the deaths of individuals who were acting to protect their fellow citizens.

Terrorism, violence, racism, and intimidation directed at individuals or groups—whether instigated by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or any other extremist group—are antithetical to the social contract that binds a diverse people together in a democratic society founded on principles of freedom, liberty and equality.  As an educational community dedicated to civil discourse and to providing learning opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds, it is incumbent upon all of us at Madison to stand in unity with fellow citizens when these fundamental principles are under attack.  And as a public university, we will always respect and protect rights of both free speech and freedom from discrimination that are essential foundations for the learning environment.   

The safety and well-being of all members of our community remain our focus as we prepare for the new academic year.  At JMU we are dedicated to creating a welcoming, inclusive and safe community for everyone.  We especially look forward to welcoming back all of our students with open arms as they embark on the next phase of their educational journeys, at a time when our society needs their courageous and inspired leadership more than ever. 

Jonathan R. Alger, President

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Published: Sunday, August 13, 2017

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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