Emotions run high as MSU Board of Trustees meets for first time since campus shooting

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 7:23 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The atmosphere was charged with emotion at the Michigan State University Board of Trustees meeting Friday, as the board gathered for the first time since the mass shooting on campus in February.

Interim President Teresa Woodruff called for a moment of silence to remember the three students who lost their lives that night: Brian Fraser, Alexandria Verner and Arielle Anderson.

The meeting was an opportunity for the board to reflect on the past two months and the community’s response to the tragedy. Board Chair Rema Vassar became emotional as she praised the Spartan community’s love, empathy, hope, resilience and grace toward each other.

“Over the past couple of months, Spartans time and time again have provided one another with love and empathy, and in doing so, you have shined a bright green light of hope and resilience and love and grace to so many people,” Vassar said.

Vassar, whose daughter is a student at MSU, expressed her gratitude toward the first responders who were on campus that night.

“Knowing you all were here kept me from getting on the highway,” Vassar said. “Knowing she was safe in this Spartan community, kept me from driving just to hug her.”

Woodruff thanked the community for their quick response to help with the healing process from the shooting. She noted that the three students killed in the shooting will forever be remembered as Spartans.

“We will observe moments of silence at our spring graduation ceremonies and will confer on Brian, Alexandria, and Arielle honorary MSU degrees certifying their enduring membership in the Spartan family,” Woodruff said.

The university is planning on putting up a memorial to honor the shooting victims.

The Spartan Strong Fund, created to help support students and improve safety after the shooting, has raised over one million dollars. The university is expected to decide soon how that money will be spent.

MSU offers a different program called Support Our Spartans Emergency Fund for students who need help. You can donate to the Spartans Emergency Fund here.

Related: Michigan State University creates resource office for victims of campus shooting

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