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Annie Le, 1985-2009

The thoughts of Asian American Yale Alumni are with the family and friends of Annie Le and the entire Yale community during this difficult time.

Below are President Levin’s remarks during a campus vigil on September 14, 2009:


When I see you all assembled on an occasion so sad and so disturbing, I am reminded that we are an extraordinary community, a community of concern.

I think of the values that bind us together.  These values begin with the search for truth.  As scholars, as learners, as seekers – and as human souls with empathy and compassion, we find it incomprehensible that life can be so unjust.  But Socrates taught us long ago that wisdom and understanding are advanced through dialogue, through conversation.  And so, at a time like this, as we ponder a reality that is unsettling and frightening, we must come together, to talk with one another, to try to understand.  I urge you to reach out to each other, to support one another.

Some of you, especially those of you who knew Annie Le, are grieving. Others are afraid.  You can help one another, and I know you will.  But to those who need more, I say please seek help.  At your service are your teachers, advisers, deans, masters, directors of graduate studies, representatives of the Yale Religious Ministries, and the mental hygiene staff of the University Health Service.  They are all here for you, day and night.

I am especially concerned for the many newcomers in our midst – first year students in Yale College, the Graduate School, and the professional schools.  I ask those of you who know the ways of our community to reach out especially to them, to make clear to them that, despite this horrendous trauma, our commitment to truth, openness, trust, and collaboration – and to making the world a better place – will endure.

We are doing all that we can to ensure your security across the campus, and we are cooperating fully with the law enforcement authorities.  I am very hopeful that the perpetrator of this dreadful crime will soon be brought to justice.

As our candles burn, let us ponder and let us take comfort in each other’s presence. Our hearts go out to the family of Annie Le, to her fiancé and his family, and to her many friends.  We pray for their comfort and well-being, as we honor and remember Annie.

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