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Statement from UMass President Robert L. Caret on Boston Marathon tragedy

Our city, our Commonwealth, our beloved Boston Marathon and scores of innocent people have been victimized by a mindless act of terror.

Those who perpetrate such atrocities dwell in a place of darkness that is antithetical to all that we hold dear at our University and in a democratic society.

My fervent hope is that those responsible for this barbarous act will be brought to justice and will never again be able to inflict so much pain or such acts of misguided and appalling violence.

As is to be expected, our grasp of the details remains imperfect, but to this moment, we do not know of anyone connected to the University being directly, physically affected by the attack. This may change, but we hope and pray that it does not. We know that some members of the University of Massachusetts community ran in the Marathon and that others were present at the finish line, and we are grateful for their safety.

We also know that an event that occurred at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is still being evaluated, and we stand ready to assist our friend and partner on the Columbia Point peninsula in any way. As a result of the investigative activity taking place, UMass Boston will be closed today, April 16, 2013. I want to commend Chancellor J. Keith Motley for all that he and UMass Boston are doing to assist in this investigation and also thank our partners at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate for the role that they are playing. We are especially proud of students from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences who volunteered to provide medical service to the runners and ended up caring for the wounded after the bomb blasts.

This is a moment that confounds and saddens us all. Words cannot express the anguish I feel for those who died or were injured -- or had a loved one affected by this heinous deed.

It is also a moment for us to draw near those who we hold dear -- and for those of us in the university community to work even harder to ensure that reason and discussion and a respect for freedom and the rights of others will always triumph over those who believe that acts like one that brought carnage to Boylston Street can be perpetrated or defended.

Let us all stand together and move forward united by our cherished principles.

President Robert L. Caret



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