The following message is from President John C. Hitt:
Orlando was attacked today. How painful, frightening, and infuriating it is to write that sentence.
As President Obama said, this was “an attack on all of us, and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.”
We are working with law enforcement to determine whether the attack killed or injured UCF students, faculty, staff, and alumni. When we have more information, we will share it with you.
In time, I expect we all will know someone affected. A friend. A sister. A partner. A co-worker. To the victims of this attack — and their loved ones and friends — I offer the sincere prayers and hopes of the entire UCF family.
Earlier today, I extended to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer all of the university’s resources to help our community. To start, on Monday UCF will host a blood drive on campus. I hope you will join me there.
While we are still learning about this attack, it appears that the shooter targeted the LGBTQ community. The UCF Creed calls on all of us to “promote an open and supportive campus environment by respecting the rights and contributions of every individual.”
With our Creed in mind, I tell our LGBTQ students, faculty, staff, and alumni this: You are not alone. Your university stands with you.
In attempting to make sense of this senselessness, my mind is drawn to wise words Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke nearly 50 years ago.
“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way, and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
As they were true then, so are Dr. King’s words true today.