It is my honor to be with you tonight. I am here as a teacher, an adviser, a coach, an alum, a member of the DeKalb community and most importantly, along with each of you, a member of the NIU family. I have shared with so many people over the past few days. All of us have a story to tell:
An email from a former student, a phone call from an old colleague, an embrace or a smile from someone whose name we may not even know. Each of these encounters is a precious gift; one of hope and comfort. We are all in need of comfort now.
Take heart. We will find it. We will find it in the eyes of our teachers and our students, we will find it in the embrace of our classmates and colleagues, and we will find it in the hearts of our NIU family. We must, take hold and be strong together. In the words of John F. Kennedy, we should not let our fear hold us back from pursuing our hopes. Remember that NIU is defined by our students, our faculty, our staff our community, our tradition, our family. I have never been more proud to be an NIU Huskie.
We will continue to teach and learn. We will heal. We will prevail.
Forward together forward. We are family…. We, all of us, are NIU.