It is not possible to offer to Yale words of comfort or wisdom at this moment in her long history.
Three students have died horrible deaths over the last two years: a promising graduate student murdered on campus the weekend before her wedding; a young undergraduate leaping to his death off the Empire State Building; and now a young woman, weeks before her graduation, killed in a tragic accident in the Chemistry Lab. A fourth student of great athletic promise and tremendous popularity has had her life cut short by nature’s blind indifference.
Yale, perhaps more than any other college in the country, is the preeminent symbol of promise and prestige which America has produced in its centuries-old evolution from Colony to Beacon of Egalitarianism in the world: her classrooms have molded four future presidents of the United States.
Every mother and father sending a student to New Haven must sense the promise of this legacy and tingle with hope and excitement at the future which is unfolding for the fruit of their parenting.
Death is so antithetical to youth itself and to all that Yale represents: there seems no lesson to be drawn from the accumulation of such sorrow in so short a time in the midst of fields where the glories of fulfillment and development are nurtured with such care and devotion.
The writer is a 1980 graduate of the Divinity School.