Letter from President Clements: 'We Stand with Charleston'
Position: President, Clemson University
Here is a letter that Clemson President Jim Clements sent to the faculty and students at Clemson on Thursday regarding the Charleston shooting tragedy that killed nine innocent lives.
Dear Clemson Family,
Today the State of South Carolina mourns for the lives lost in the horrific shooting at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. Please keep the victims of this crime and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
Although the main campus of Clemson University and Charleston are separated by a distance of 240 miles, a tragedy of this magnitude hits very close to home for all of us. Clemson is very much a part of the Charleston community, despite the miles between us. Nearly 8,000 alumni live in Charleston and the surrounding counties, almost 1,900 students hail from the Charleston area, and many faculty, staff and students are working in Charleston in our academic and research programs there.
Among the victims was Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was the youngest African-American to be elected to our state legislature. Sen. Pinckney spent time at Clemson when he was in high school, as a participant in our Career Workshop. He was also a member of the Clemson 4-H program in Jasper County when he was a young man, which sparked his interest in public service. Throughout his life, he was a champion for education and our communities. He was a strong supporter of these programs and was always a dear friend of Clemson University. His life was dedicated to serving the people of South Carolina, and his death is a tragic loss for all of us. My family and I will be praying for the family and friends of Senator Pinckney and the eight other individuals who lost their lives in this tragic event.
Clemson stands with Charleston in this time of grief and loss.