Remembering Sandy Hook

December 14, 2022

Dear Southern Community,

It is hard to imagine that today is the tenth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown – a tragedy that deeply affected the entire country and holds a special poignancy for us at Southern.
As many of you know, four of the educators who died at Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, 2012, were Southern alumnae: Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, M.S. ’97, 6th Yr. ’98; teacher Anne Marie Murphy, M.S. ’08; school counselor Mary J. Sherlach, M.S. ’90, 6th Yr. ’92; and teacher Victoria Soto, M.S. ’13.
Here on campus, our Reflection Garden near Morrill Hall includes a Sandy Hook Memorial honoring these four alumnae, who heroically sought to protect the lives of the innocent children in their care.
Many members of our community also know families whose lives were forever changed in the wake of that day’s unspeakable events.
Please take a few moments during this last week of the fall semester to remember all who lost their lives at Sandy Hook – and in subsequent school shootings across the nation. The May 24 deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, was, sadly, just one of many such tragic occurrences in the past year.
In our thoughts, and in our actions, let us hold close to the families of Newtown, Uvalde, and other afflicted communities as we work together to break the cycle of violence by creating a future built on hope, peace, and understanding.
I would like to share with you this video of a virtual choir recording of “Prayer of the Children” by members of the Southern Connecticut State University Alumni Choir and the Spring Glen Church Choir, performed in observance of the tenth anniversary of Sandy Hook. The choir offers this performance in memory of the victims of Sandy Hook and all communities scarred by gun violence, in solidarity with all those traumatized by violence and war, and in hope for a world that, one day, will hear the prayer of the children.
Joe Bertolino