"Last week, we heard the terrible news about a massive bomb explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia that resulted in at least 358 deaths. This terrible and senseless attack, occurring more than 8,000 miles away, profoundly affects many of our neighbors, colleagues, students and their families. We feel their losses deeply and grieve with them.

I also wish to express, on behalf of our university community, our shared sense of injury and loss, and our determination to stand by our students, employees, and neighbors in this experience that can be so isolating. All of us have family, close friends, and associates who are far away but close to our hearts, and we can only begin to imagine the inevitable sense of pain and powerlessness that this event is causing, particularly as travel is restricted.

We are particularly saddened to hear of the death of Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow, a 2016 graduate (Human Services) of Metropolitan State. He was a friend to many on campus and in the community and our hearts go out to his wife, three children, extended family and faith community.

Reading about Mr. Eyow's desire to invest in the future of Somalia reminds me of the important Memorandum of Understanding that Metropolitan State signed last year with Nugaal University. The mission of this developing university is to provide a quality education, to promote sustainable development and solve regional problems in Somalia and the Horn of Africa. Their president made a strong case that a MOU with a like-minded university, such as Metropolitan State, could help to strengthen their work.  The future opportunities we will have to contribute to learning, exchange, and mutual understanding through this relationship will address compelling needs in Somalia. I have sent a message of sympathy and support to their president. It will be our privilege to join in the efforts of so many brave and committed individuals like Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow.

As an inclusive community that cherishes the value of each individual, we reaffirm our rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism. We equally oppose acts and words of discrimination, harassment, exclusion, and any actions that limit or oppress others by suppressing their rights of expression, individual belief, or association. These actions rob all of us of the ability to lead our lives in security and safety.

Metropolitan State's community is here to serve and to extend learning that transforms lives. As a university community we will continue to work toward increasing understanding and respect in the local and global communities with which we are inextricably linked.

Sincerely,

Virginia "Ginny" Arthur, JD President"