Dear Members of the Northeastern Community,

In recent months and years, I have had to write to you all too often regarding an act of terrorism or violence around the world. The newest attack, at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, has shaken us once more. To every member of our community from Turkey, and to those connected to them: we are thinking of you. Like the tragedies we have witnessed in so many other places around the world, this terrible bombing grieves us all deeply.

As a global university, shocks of violence and hatred anywhere touch the members of the Northeastern community, by definition.  I am glad to let you know that we have confirmed the safety of every Northeastern student who is studying in the Istanbul region. We are also actively reaching out to the more than 100 Turkish students in our university community.

As a university that is committed to engagement with the world’s great challenges, these episodes also call us to action. To all of our community members who work for a more secure society and for greater justice around the world, I hope these most recent events, and the many like them, do not dishearten you, but rather inspire you to press forth with deeper, stronger, and indefatigable resolve.

Human decency—and human ingenuity—will always overcome ignorance and hate.  This fundamental truth is at the core of our mission as a university.


Joseph E. Aoun