President Frank’s message on Savannah McNealy

Editor’s note: This message was sent to the entire Colorado State University community on Oct. 19, 2017.


It is with a very heavy heart that I write to inform you that Savannah McNealy, a CSU senior, was killed last night in the shooting that occurred on City Park Avenue. Savannah majored in Art and would have graduated this December. A member of the student media staff and an intern on CSU’s Creative Services Team, she was well-loved and respected by those who knew her. I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Savannah personally, but I have talked this afternoon with others who did…and she sounds like an exceptional, bright, energetic, confident, and creative young woman. She was clearly loved as a friend and daughter.

Friends and colleagues have organized a vigil in her honor at 4 p.m. tomorrow near the Ram Walk on Meridian Drive between Hughes Way and Pitkin Street. Savannah was instrumental in coming up with the idea and design for the Ram Walk, the orange stripe that has already become such an important CSU tradition.

The circumstances around her death do not, indeed, cannot define Savannah’s life.  Her life’s definition is etched on all those who knew and cared for her via the impact she had on them. She left her stamp on CSU as well, and we will treasure her memory.

Our thoughts go out, as well, to the other victims of last night’s shooting, whose names have not yet been made public. This tragedy, occurring so near our campus, brings into sharp focus the value of life everywhere. As we head into the coming weekend, please take care of yourselves and one another. 

Take advantage of the counseling and support resources we’ve been sharing; that’s what they’re there for and our counselors are simply wonderful. They are available for walk-in meetings in the Cherokee Park Room of Lory Student Center 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 20. You may also reach an on-call counselor during business hours at (970) 491-6053 and with an after-hours (evenings, night, weekends) counselor at (970) 491-7111

Each of you is a unique light, with the badly needed potential to brighten our world’s dark places – both large and small. Shine some of that light on each other this evening in Savannah’s memory.

Be well.


Dr. Tony Frank