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Honoring a fallen Eagle

April 4, 2014

Dear UNT community,

Yesterday was a difficult day for our campus community. We lost a member of our university family and faced a threat from a severe storm. Although unrelated, yesterday’s events are a reminder of how precious life can be.

The university family member we lost was Brandon Lambert, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences who was found in his room. UNT Police are in the process of finalizing their investigation, but there appears to be no evidence or indication of foul play involved in his death.

I am very saddened by Brandon’s death and my heart goes out to his family and friends. I ask that we each take a moment to remember his life. Losing one of our own is never easy, but there can be comfort in coming together as a community. Times like this are when our caring, supportive culture counts most. I ask that our faculty and staff members take special care of our students, especially those who knew Brandon. At the April 16 Flight Memorial, we will come together in remembrance of Brandon and all of our fallen Eagles.

In addition to this tragic event yesterday, we had to deal with weather threats. I’m sure all of us on campus and in Denton were concerned when we heard the tornado sirens go off yesterday evening. I hope that everyone took shelter and stayed safe. This is a reminder to refresh yourself on where you can take shelter when you hear the sirens. Severe weather is a part of life in the North Texas region, so be prepared. I encourage each of you to regularly review UNT Emergency Management’s tips about how to stay safe and informed.

There is physical damage to parts of our campus from the storm. We are still assessing the extent of the damage. But so far, the damage appears manageable and the university will work as quickly as possible to make repairs. Thank you in advance for your patience during this time.

Neal SmatreskIf you need them for any reason, free counseling services are available to students through the university’s Counseling and Testing Services. Short-term counseling services for employees are available through the university’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). And as always, Goolsby Chapel offers a place for reflection and solace.

Thank you for your compassion.

Sincerely,

Neal Smatresk

President

Posted on: Fri 04 April 2014

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