A more than adequate response to tragedy

Re: “Le family lawyers start own investigation” (Sept. 9): One year ago, tragedy and trauma struck this campus in the most unexpected form. Most of us followed the headlines helplessly, hoping for the best or, at least, hoping it wasn’t the worst. But not everyone sat around feeling and acting helpless. Yale’s top administrators bent over backwards to do anything and everything they could for the family of Annie Le GRD ’13. As an unofficial liaison between Annie’s family and the University during that time, I witnessed much of this firsthand.

After learning her family was being hounded by the media in local hotels, Pierson and Davenport masters housed them in their guest suites — Yale’s suggestion, not the family’s request. Her family ate meals in Pierson every day, and the Asian American Cultural Center reached out to provide them cultural comforts as well. University Secretary Linda Lorimer and Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith provided security for them at all times and escorts around New Haven whenever needed. Chaplain Sharon Kugler and Father Bob Beloin were with the family daily providing spiritual support. Yale provided (sometimes multiple) daily case updates to the family, in conjunction with the New Haven Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On Thursday, I learned that Annie’s biological mother, Vivian Le, had hired attorney Brian King to possibly sue Yale. While the administration’s support of Annie’s family is obviously not relevant to potential legal action, my experience in this disaster showed me that Yale displayed the same dedication and commitment to finding Annie as it did to caring for her family.

It is also important to note that, despite King’s general statements of what the Le family feels, he was not hired by the rest of Annie’s family. I know firsthand that the guardians who raised her, Tuyet Bui and Robert Nguyen, and her uncle, James Bui, have no interest in filing any lawsuit, now or in the future, against any individual or institution in relation to Annie’s death. From their perspectives, no amount of justice can bring Annie back, and they would just rather let Annie rest in peace.

What happened to Annie was tragic and terrible, but I am proud of how Yale responded to this crisis and has continued to reach out to Annie’s family. I still keep in contact with them and know that Annie’s uncles and aunts are extremely grateful to Yale for all the University did during their time of distress.

Xuan Nguyen

Cincinnati, Ohio

Sept. 9

The writer is a 2010 graduate of Pierson College.