Vanderbilt University graduate student dies in attacks in Israel

Taylor Force

Editors Note, March 10: The item below was posted 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.

Taylor Force, 28, a student at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, was fatally wounded Tuesday, 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. The university is arranging for their return and care.

Force was a first-year MBA student and a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Twenty-nine Owen School students, accompanied by four faculty and staff, were traveling to Israel to learn about global entrepreneurship through meetings with start-up companies in one of the most active international cities for start-ups.

“Taylor’s family and his friends and colleagues have our deepest sympathy and utmost support. 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,” Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos wrote in a message sent to the Vanderbilt community.

Counseling resources are being made available for faculty, students, and staff as needed through the university’s Psychological and Counseling Center, Employee Assistance Program and the Office of Religious Life and University Chaplain.