Message from Chancellor Zeppos on student death in Israel

Editors Note, March 10: The message below was sent shortly after the university received the tragic news of Taylor Force’s death and was based on the limited, confirmed information the university had at the time. The priority at the time was notifying our community of the tragedy and informing them that all other Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff on the trip were safe. The attack was subsequently classified as an act of terrorism. Chancellor Zeppos and the university condemn all such heinous acts.

Dear Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff,

It is with extreme sadness that I write to inform you that Taylor Force, a student at our Owen Graduate School of Management, was fatally wounded March 8 in a stabbing attack while on an Owen School trip to Tel Aviv, Israel. All other Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff on the trip are safe.

Taylor embarked on this trip to expand his understanding of global entrepreneurship and also to share his insights and knowledge with start-ups in Israel. He exemplified the spirit of discovery, learning and service that is the hallmark of our wonderful Owen community. This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world.

Taylor’s family and his friends and colleagues have our deepest sympathy and utmost support.

In light of this loss, we as a community can look to find strength by continuing our commitment to build and nurture an educational environment whose foundational mission is to expand world peace and enlightenment.

We also have university resources available for faculty, students, and staff. For students, please reach out to the Psychological Counseling Center 615-322-2571; for faculty and staff to the Employee Assistance Program 615-936-1327.  The Office of Religious Life and University Chaplain can be reached at 615-322-2457.


Nicholas S. Zeppos

Read more: Vanderbilt University graduate student dies in attacks in Israel »