Campus leaders appreciate community support

Campus leaders appreciate community support

Often, it is during the deepest tragedies that we find how fortunate we are to be members of a community. For the students, faculty and staff on the Mansfield Campus of The Ohio State University and North Central State College, we are grateful to all who came to the aid of our campus following the recent abduction of Skylar Williams and the subsequent death of two of our students.

The outcome was tragic. We will never know the reasons for the events that occurred. Nor will we ever forget them, and the scars they left on so many.

While we work through the grief together, we also reflect on the many reasons we have to be thankful.

Our university police and security worked hand-in-hand with responding officers from local and state agencies to begin an immediate search and to ensure the rest of our community was safe from further threats.

We were also witness to amazing and wonderful things. Our campus teams were contacted by others throughout the community who offered assistance and support. They came from our backyard and from neighboring counties. They came from New Directions for Life, from The Domestic Violence Shelter, from the Mental Health and Recovery Board in Ashland County, from Catalyst services, and from the Columbus Campus of Ohio State. They provided countless hours of service to our students and staff.

During the darkest hours, we felt the support of so many who sincerely cared about the well-being of our students, faculty and staff.

So many here will remember the tragedy. We will also remember the friendship of those near and far who came to assist in our hour of need. They were professional. They were empathetic. And they worked tirelessly to serve all who needed their help.

We pray we will never need these services again. That no student will again be traumatized by events that occur within our community, involving those we know and love. It is comforting to know we are not alone.

With that knowledge and for the myriad ways the faculty, staff and students of the Mansfield Campus were supported, we say thank you.

Dr. Norman Jones, Ph.D., dean and director, The Ohio State University at Mansfield

Dr. Dorey Diab, Ph.D., President and CEO, North Central State College