Good morning, Long Beach State.
I wanted to take a moment to talk about these last couple of weeks, which have been especially tragic for many in our community. They began with fires ravaging our neighbors to the North, East and South in California, and they continued with a mass shooting at a Halloween party just down 7th Street where three were killed and many more were injured. Ultimately, these tragedies ended with the news that three others were killed in a completely separate incident involving a family that lived and breathed Black and Gold. The Awaida family consisted of Mom and grad student Raihan Dakhil, Dad and LBSU alum Joseph Awaida and 3 year old child, and ASI Isabel Patterson Child Development Center student, Omar. This was a true Beach family.
I had the opportunity to hear from families at our recent vigil for Raihan, Joseph and Omar at the IPCDC this past Tuesday, and though we were all deeply heartbroken, I also couldn't have been more proud of our community. This family exemplified all we strive to be at this university, and the community surrounding them honored and celebrated them for it. As President Conoley said earlier this week in a campus-wide email, we are a unique and diverse university, but equally as important we are a connected and supportive family.
Let’s come together, now more than ever, and show the love we all have for one another through these trying times. Go community. And Go Beach.