Dr. Farish addresses University community about tragic student death on 10/29October 29, 2007
More than 1,500 students and faculty attended a 4 p.m. University-wide meeting in Esby Gym on Monday, October 29, that addressed the weekend attack against and death of sophomore Donald Farrell, of Boonton.
After comments from Fr. Cadmus Mazzarella, director of Newman House, and a moment of silence in memory of Mr. Farrell, Rowan President Dr. Donald Farish addressed the gathering.
"An attack on Donald Farrell is an attack on all of us," said Farish, who told those present their safety was of "paramount concern." After acknowledging representatives of the Borough of Glassboro, its police department and the Prosecutor's Office, he added, "This is not just about Rowan."
Farish reviewed Saturday night's attack, in which one or two people punched and kicked Mr. Farrell as he was with friends in the vicinity of XPress Mart and the Triad Apartments, on Rt. 322. "This is something that has the full attention of the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office," Farish said, adding that they were "optimistic" about solving the case. (Please see other stories on this site for background information and the prosecutor's comments.)
"This is the saddest moment I've had in the time I've been president of this University," Farish said. "It's the kind of senseless violence that reminds us of the fragility of our lives."
The president said he received a tremendous number of phone calls and emails from parents and students. "I don't pretend to have all the answers," he said.
He did, however, address comments from about a dozen students - some visibly upset - and reviewed conditions at Rowan and the University's plans for the near future. To view a videotape of the University gathering please visit: http://www.rowan.edu/open/video/farish.html
Farish and administrators plan to continue to review the situation; work with the Prosecutor's Office and Glassboro Police Department; and address student, faculty and parent concerns. Farish said the University also will discuss a memorial service and scholarship in Mr. Farrell's name with his family.