Now that the danger has passed, the grief sinks in. There is a reflective mood on the campus, a feeling of pain very intense among those who knew Johanna Justin-Jinich well, and a sense of sorrow felt by the entire Wesleyan family.
At the same time, when Sophie and I went to the library on Sunday, it was full of students studying, reading, writing…and simply connecting with one another. The lacrosse team is practicing for the next round of the NCAA tournament, and the musicians are tuning up or just raising their voices in song. Students are turning in exams and professors are grading. The normal rhythms of our academic life are beginning to return.
But these rhythms return while we remember, while we work with our grief. Students are planning a celebration of Johanna’s life for this week, and we all, I think, take a bit more time to acknowledge what’s really important to us.
In that spirit I want to thank the people I work with here on campus, as well as the entire staff, faculty and students for their extraordinary efforts and cooperation during these difficult days. And I want to thank in particular our Public Safety Department and the Middletown Police Department. In the wake of this tragedy our emergency systems worked because people worked together.
I also want to express my gratitude to the extended Wesleyan family around the world for the hundreds of messages of support we received for our community and for Johanna’s family.
Michael S. Roth