News from Erskine

A Note from Dr. Brad Christie, acting president

Dear Erskine Family,

I write to you with unhappy news.  Many of you likely know already that we are grieving the death of one of our college students over the weekend.  Dean Harris, a sophomore from Benoni, South Africa, died sometime Sunday morning in his room on campus.  Dean was a business major and, along with his brother and roommate, Jason, a member of our menís tennis team.

My purpose here is not to communicate the details of Deanís death.  Instead, out of respect for Jason, the rest of the Harris family, and their friends, I request your continuing prayers on behalf of the entire Erskine community.  This is the one constructive thing we can all do in these moments when so many things remain unclear.

Obviously, this situation is heartbreaking for our students, faculty, and staff.  At times like this we are most mindful of and grateful for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In His strength, and through the support of our community, we will endure this trial.

The strength of the Erskine community has already been evident.  Last night, leaders of the student government association and student Christian association quickly organized an impromptu candlelight vigil.  Those of you who could not be there would have been encouraged by the spirit of respect and dignity displayed at this gathering.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12, the Erskine community will gather again, at 11:00 a.m. at the Due West ARP Church, to remember Dean and to remember Godís faithfulness to us and our hope in Him.

Additionally, grief counseling and other support services are available to all of our students, faculty, and staff.  Any member of the Erskine community who seeks such support or counseling should contact the residence life staff or the office of student services.

Thanks to everyone who has offered support and let us know that you are keeping Erskine in mind during these difficult days.  Despite our communal sadness, we rejoice in hope, clinging to Godís promise that He will never leave nor forsake us.  And in light of that promise, we will continue equipping students to flourish as whole persons.

Faithfully yours,

N. Bradley Christie
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Acting President
Erskine College & Theological Seminary