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Campus Community,

We will certainly learn more in the coming days about the victims of Monday’s shooting in Louisville as we are all witnesses, yet again, to a senseless, violent act that defies description and surpasses understanding.

Two of the victims – Tommy Elliott and Jim Tutt – were UK alumni, graduates from around the same time in the early 1980s. Another victim, Deana Eckert, briefly attended our university, as well. They were members of our community and are forever part of the extended UK family.

Louisville, as so many have noted, is a big, small town. It’s the kind of place where the answer to, “Where did you go to high school?” still instantly connects people across time and place, around neighborhoods and through a shared sense of community pride.

I think of our community in much the same way. We are bound together, no matter what year we graduated, where we work or where we live, by the shared identity of being members of this Wildcat family. As such, we have a sacred responsibility to reach out, to care, to support one another, even as we all know that words cannot credibly convey the depths of the pain and sorrow that so many feel right now.

Last night, we began reaching out to the more than 4,000 UK students who call the Louisville area home, offering support and resources. We have some 30,000 from the Louisville area who are UK alumni as well as staff members in our extension offices and in other capacities. We are here for all of them. We must remind each other that there is never a wrong time to ask for help.

  • For our students – both undergraduate and graduate – if you or someone you know is struggling following this tragedy, you can get help by letting us know what you’re going through here.
  • Students can access additional resources here.
  • We also offer mental health services and support for our employees, which can be found here.

Before he passed away, the speechwriter and columnist Michael Gerson remarked that many ask and pray “for a strength they do not possess.” But there is a promise beyond strength, the idea “that even when strength fails, there is perseverance. And even when perseverance fails, there is hope. And even when hope fails, there is love. And love never fails.”


Amid so much numbing shock and sadness in our state, let us remind each other of that promise always.

Eli Capilouto