Remarks at the Vigil for Tess Majors

December 12, 2019

President Bollinger spoke at the vigil for Tess Majors:

”I am unmoored by the tragedy that unfolded yesterday evening and that led to the death of Tess Majors. Unmoored because Tess was a Barnard student, and in a very real sense Barnard students are Columbia students just like Columbia students are Barnard students; unmoored because Tess was among the youngest members of our community and we feel especially protective of them; unmoored because Jean and I are parents and grandparents and we can oh so readily imagine the pain and grief of Tess’s parents and family; and unmoored because this utterly unspeakable loss happened only a few yards in front of the home where Jean and I live, so we will forever have the searing reality of that physical proximity.

On behalf of Columbia, I want formally to extend our heartfelt love and condolences to Barnard and to President Beilock, who I know will personally carry the burden of grief and mourning of the entire Barnard community.

All of the horror that encompasses this death should not and cannot detract from the appreciation of Tess Majors, the person. Tess must have been extraordinary. I am slowly beginning to get a glimpse of a brilliant young individual. And I am eager to learn more, because Tess will be in my mind, and our collective minds, for a long time to come.”