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Vanderbilt mourns victims of Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka

Students and leaders denounce hatred and stand in solidarity at a campus vigil

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Vanderbilt mourns victims of Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka

Emily Gonçalves, Multimedia Assistant

Members of the Vanderbilt community gathered together on Rand Wall April 21 to mourn the loss of over 350 victims in targeted attacks against Christians on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.

Susan Wente, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, along with James Page Jr., Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, hosted the vigil to condemn the hatred displayed and to express support to those impacted by these terrorist attacks. The vigil included words from a variety of Vanderbilt administrators, students and religious leaders. The Rev. Gretchen Person, Associate University Chaplain and Associate Director of Religious Life, delivered the opening remarks.

I invite you today to remember and honor the victims of the attacks in Sri Lanka and also to recognize the vital necessity of interfaith cooperation in our world today; I invite you to join with the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life in making interfaith cooperation a social norm and an identity that is recognized as much as other diverse identities – lest we find ourselves returning to this place many more times in the coming months to remember victims of extremist attacks,” Person said. “Lives in our nation and other nations are depending on the education and work of interfaith cooperation that we can do and that does make a profound difference.”

The Rev. Gretchen Person speaks at Vanderbilt’s vigil for victims of the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka. (Photo by Emily Gonçalves)

The Rev. Shantell Hinton Hill, Rabbi Shlomo Rothstein and junior Bethany Dieringer joined Person in representing Vanderbilt’s interfaith community. Dean Vanessa Beasley and Dean Frank Dobson offered words of support from the administration. Thushara De Silva, graduate student of environmental engineering, shared her perspective as a citizen of Sri Lanka, thanking Vanderbilt for coming together to remember the lives lost.

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About the Writer
Emily Gonçalves, Multimedia Assistant

Emily Gonçalves (‘20) is the Assistant Photo Editor of the Vanderbilt Hustler. She is majoring in Mathematics and Economics and minoring in Latin American...

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