On behalf of the entire Colorado State University community, I wish to extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of Matthew Shepard, a young man whose life was guided by a belief in the inherent dignity and value of all people – and who, in his final hours, taught us much about the importance of caring for, learning from and uplifting our fellow human beings.
I wish also to express the deep disappointment felt by our campus community at the actions of a handful of students in this past weekend’s Homecoming parade. Their behavior was an affront to all who hold sacred the values of compassion, human decency and respect for others. It is particularly chilling to recognize that this single, deplorable act can serve to undermine our institution’s longstanding commitment to creating a safe, warm and welcoming environment for all who choose to work and study here. I wish to express to the family of Matthew Shepard and the people of Colorado that such actions do not represent the true character of our University. Such behavior by anyone associated with our institution will not be tolerated, and in the days ahead, we will look at the issues, determine the facts and take appropriate action to deal with the situation.
In the aftermath of this tragedy, our hearts go out to Matthew’s family and friends and to our neighbors and colleagues at the University of Wyoming who mourn his loss. Perhaps from this sadness, we can emerge with renewed conviction to uphold those values Matthew held dear – to make his life a beacon as we seek to build a better, safer, more loving world for all our children.