February 22, 2008
To the Parents of NIU Students:
During this week of healing, I have spoken with many of you. All of us have taken great strength from your words of encouragement, and I hope we have likewise provided the information and reassurance you need to go forward with confidence. You have entrusted your children to Northern Illinois University, and we continue to do all we can to keep your students safe.
We mourn with those who lost a precious child in the senseless attack of February 14. We pray for those who continue to heal, both physically and emotionally. Most of all, we are dedicating our efforts in the weeks ahead to welcoming our students back to school, helping them deal with a wide range of issues, and assisting our entire campus community in its quest for a return to normalcy.
Our parents are valued members of the Huskie community. Please know that we welcome each of you to the Memorial service on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center. If you cannot attend but still wish to view the service, you may do so through our website at www.niu.edu.
Your student has received information about counseling that is available to them now and when they return. Please help us make them comfortable with that option if appropriate. We have spent much of this week preparing our faculty for the variety of emotions and questions we know will be present in the first days following our students’ return.
We are taking all possible measures to ensure a safe return to school on Monday. Students will notice an increased campus police presence which is intended not to alarm but to calm. Rest assured that we have taken other security steps as well that may be less noticeable but equally important in keeping our campus safe.
Thank you for your support as we remember, and as we find the strength to educate the next generations in the indomitable spirit of the NIU family.
John G. Peters