A Letter from SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson

October 28, 2018

Dear SUNY Community,

It is with great sadness that we write regarding the heinous hate crime perpetrated upon the congregations of the Tree of Life Synagogue who were there to pray and worship. Once again, we are faced with the horrendous results of intolerance. The Johnson family once lived in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood that has been shattered by this weekend’s violence. Recalling the stories about the close-knit community that has been impacted makes this even more personally upsetting. The shooting comes on the heels of news Wednesday of two African Americans shot and killed in a Kroger grocery store in a suburb of Louisville by a man who had tried and failed to gain access to a predominately African American church.

We must stand together in condemning these horrible acts of hate. Violence has no place in our society and hate must not find any foothold in our community. SUNY was founded on the basis of inclusion. We were created to provide a high quality education to any individual seeking to create new opportunities for themselves, including members of the Jewish and African American communities who were being denied entrance to other institutions. It is up to each of us to expose words or actions that foster intolerance of any kind. 

The SUNY community has support services available to help us deal with these tragic events including our campus counseling offices and offices of diversity and inclusion. If you ever feel you are in danger or have information about someone you feel could be a threat to the community, our University Police departments are available 24/7.

Yours in Peace and Tolerance,

H. Carl McCall
Chairman, The State University of New York Board of Trustees 

Kristina M. Johnson
Chancellor, The State University of New York

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit suny.edu.

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