President Roger H. Brown reflects on the tragedy in Newtown, CT. Join the dialogue by leaving your comments below. Community members are invited to drop by one of three spaces around campus this week to take time to personally reflect on the incident and to sign a banner with words of support and unity.

I was flying to Georgia on Friday to visit my parents, catching a bite in the Legal Sea Foods Test Kitchen. The man at the table across from mine was watching the television.  I saw his face go blank followed by a look of agony and shock. I turned to the screen and without reading the captions, just viewing the images of police running here and there, cordons, parents and students in anguish, I could tell the outline of the story before even hearing it.

For some of us, particularly some of our students who grew up in and around Newtown, this is not an abstract tragedy. For those of us who have endured other tragic situations, this evokes the pain of those times. And for some, this is a reminder of how vulnerable our society is; how hard it is to protect ourselves from the unthinkable.

What can we do? Of course our first task is to review all the ways we can protect ourselves from crisis with our campus security team. Roy Murphy and his team of security officers are committed to maintaining a safe and secure campus and will review their protocols and practices.

We will reach out to those most directly affected and attempt to support them and their families. We will explore a way to offer our sympathies through a reflective musical event.

Students, faculty, or staff who are in need of counseling or support are encouraged to reach out to the counseling office. Helpful materials are available online, including this information about how to support students through such a crisis.

I believe the most important thing we can do is affirm our commitment to one another as a community. Our hearts go out to the families who are grieving the loss of so many children and friends.


Roger H. Brown
President, Berklee College of Music