College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu shared the following message with the campus community on Saturday, July 18, 2020:
Dear Campus Community:
I am sure many of you have seen media reports that two arrests have been made in connection to the premature death of Tom DiLorenzo, the husband of our new Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Suzanne Austin. I want to first thank the faithful and persistent work of the Charleston Police Department and the many other law enforcement agencies, including the College’s own Public Safety team, who have all supported and aided so far in this investigation.
Many of our community have asked where to send condolences to Suzanne and her family. These may be sent to:
Dr. Suzanne Austin
3620 CofC Complex
Charleston, SC 29424-1500
Yesterday’s tragedy reminds us all that life is precious. A crime can happen suddenly to anyone. They are unwanted milestones that create unpredictable change and reshape lives. Therefore, I encourage everyone to hold each other a little tighter and remember to appreciate each other now and not wait for tomorrow.
Even though violent crime is uncommon in this busy section of downtown, especially in the blocks immediately surrounding the College of Charleston campus, it doesn’t make it any easier to understand or even process how or why a crime of this magnitude could occur. Due to the high visibility of our institution’s Public Safety and local police presence in and around campus, crime is usually limited to petty larceny (such as the occasional bike theft or car break-in) and city noise ordinance violations.
While this off-campus crime was an isolated act of violence, that fact does not alleviate the very real fear and anxiety that any crime creates among our students, faculty, staff and families. Charleston, while unique in so many ways, is also a city like any other, where crime can occur anywhere, anytime.
That being said, I want to reassure our Cougar family that our campus is safe. We cannot let this tragedy undermine our sense of security and wellbeing – which I know, right now, is asking a lot.
The outpouring of support for Suzanne, her family and the College of Charleston from students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, higher education colleagues, government officials and supporters from around the state and from around the country reminds us that we are all interconnected and reliant on one other. Only by working together can we ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all.
Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston