August 21, 2019

Dear Spelman Community,

Just as we were about to begin our first day of classes, I found myself saddened by the need to visit Grady Hospital this morning. As you know by now, two of our first-year students were senselessly shot last night, as were two Clark Atlanta University students.

I have had a conversation with surgeons at Grady and can report that, at this time, Spelman’s two students are recovering from non-life-threatening injuries. Their families are joining them and the College is offering support to students and families alike.

Many of you have asked about the details of the incident at which the shooting occurred. Here are the facts that we have learned from the Atlanta Police Department: students from Spelman, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta gathered in front of AUC Library at a "pop-up" party to celebrate the beginning of the fall semester. At about 10:35 p.m. gunshots erupted, and the wounded students were taken to Grady.

Although there are surveillance cameras, Atlanta police have not yet identified a suspect or suspects. Spelman is cooperating with Atlanta police in their investigation. We are also working with our AUC partner institutions to review safety measures for the entire community. The safety and well being of our students, faculty and staff is our primary concern. If you have any information or updates to share regarding the incident, please reach out to Atlanta Police’s Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) and Spelman's Public Safety Department at 404-525-6401.

Our campus is filled with heartbreak today. Not only were our students wounded, many students bore witness to the events and were traumatized by what they experienced. As a community, we are reaching out to each other and caring for each other during this difficult time. Counseling and other support services are available at Sisters Chapel, the Counseling Center, the Wellness Center and in residence halls to support our students, faculty and staff.

Spelman's faculty members are ready to support students who may not be able to attend class today or who will attend, but need consideration around addressing this heartbreaking situation.

We will continue to update the community as more information becomes available.

In service,
Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.

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