Message from the Chancellor and the President
August 31, 2021
The following message from Chancellor Stroble and President Schuste was distributed to the Webster University community on Aug. 31, 2021.
To the Webster University community,
As an international institution of higher learning with a decades-long partnership with past and present military personnel and their families, Webster University and its leadership express profound sympathy to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the terrorist attack at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, last week.
Among those killed were dozens of civilians and 13 U.S. service members, including a U.S. Marine from the St. Louis area, where Webster University was founded in 1915. Many of the U.S. Marine victims were in their early 20s, putting themselves in harm’s way and ultimately sacrificing their young lives to provide safety for thousands of residents seeking to evacuate. Our thoughts are with them and with all of the military families among our student body following this tragedy.
We know their loss and the duty they upheld shall not be forgotten. Webster University has current students as well as alumni from Afghanistan, some of whom returned after graduation to apply their degrees to improve conditions in their homeland. Our thoughts are with all of them at this difficult and sensitive time. Webster alumni are among those Afghans seeking to leave after facing threats – some simply because they have Western education credentials – or while attending to concerns about what dangers loom as multiple, repressive groups fight for control.
For the victims of the attack, we grieve and are humbled by their courage. For the survivors, we sincerely hope they may find safety and better days amid this tragedy and uncertainty. Moments like these remind us that Webster’s mission to provide opportunities for education, intercultural exchange and global citizenship is a needed and enduring one.
Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble
Julian Z. Schuster