May 2008

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The disappearance of first-year student Nick Garza has been an extremely trying and painful ordeal. Many in the College community gathered behind Forest Hall to express support for Nick and his family as the spring semester drew to a close. The following are the thoughts I expressed to those in attendance.  — RDL

This has been a most difficult time for so many–for the Garza family, especially Natalie, for Nick’s friends, and for our campus community.

The difficulty is exacerbated by the uncertainly we all feel, which continues as we try still to understand what happened to Nick.

Nick’s disappearance has affected each of us in profound ways. It has affected me on many levels–in my position of responsibility, as a member of this community, as a parent, as a human being.  Of course, in all these cases, there is pain, confusion, uncertainty, and a lot of questioning.

In observing Nick’s absence here today, we are valuing his importance as an individual in our community.  And it is important for us to remember that it is the human aspect–the human dimension–that matters most at this place, and what makes this community special. This essential value–caring for one another–gives us hope and courage to move forward, even in times of uncertainty like this.

I know I speak for many when I express my gratitude to all those who have given so much of their time, their energy, and their kindness to the search for Nick, and for helping the many who needed help retaining hope over the past three months.

So many of us here thank you.

Though it seems so difficult to do right now, we must, at one and the same time, keep Nick in our hearts and yet continue to live our lives. 

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