Monday, April 21, will mark the 118th running of the Boston Marathon on April 21. The Marathon is always a special event for the entire Boston area, and especially for the Tufts community, which is proud to field the largest collegiate or university team in the race. This year, we are also called to reflect upon the impact of the tragic events of last April. The victims and their families have continued to be in our thoughts and prayers during their months of grieving and recovery.
I would like to invite all members of the Tufts community to a Vigil of Remembrance and Hope to be held next Monday, April 14, at 12:10 pm in Goddard Chapel. A program of music, prayer, and reflection will offer an opportunity to remember those who suffered and responded, and to offer support to all those who will be running, volunteering, and cheering this year. Additionally, a number of the chaplains will hold open hours on Tuesday, April 15.
Last year’s events evoked an outstanding collaboration among medical volunteers, emergency medical services providers, and all the Boston trauma centers, including the superb work of the Tufts Medical Center. Healthcare Strong, a panel session on Thursday, April 17, at 4:30pm in Lane 100 on the Medford/Somerville campus, will bring together experts on healthcare system preparedness in Boston to discuss that historic response to emergency.
The anniversary of a traumatic event can bring up mixed and difficult feelings. I encourage those of you who may be troubled by memories or concerns to reach out to one of the many sources of support available to you on all three of our campuses, including not only our chaplains and mental health professionals but also our deans of students and their colleagues. In particular, students on the Medford/Somerville campus may wish to seek support from the Counseling and Mental Health Service, whose resources were highlighted in a recent message. Staff and faculty may wish to consult the “Running with Resilience” resources provided by our Employee Assistance Plan.
I look forward to sharing a beautiful and inspiring Patriots’ Day at this year’s Marathon with many members of the Tufts community. Our runners, nurtured by Coach Don Megerle, have shown an extraordinary amount of commitment as they have trained through a very cold and snowy winter. They will be supported, as they are each year, by dedicated students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parent volunteers.
Running a marathon demands determination, hard work, and optimism. Boston exemplified all those qualities last year. I hope you will join me in cheering on this year’s runners as they demonstrate that same spirit.