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Laurentian Notes to and from Boston

When tragedy struck in Boston last week, a group of St. Lawrence students wondered how best to share their thoughts on social media on a day when nothing felt quite right. So they put together a simple poster, “SLU supports you, Boston,” and posted a photo on Instagram.

Days later, Tom Grilk, executive director of Boston Marathon organizer the Boston Athletic Association and father of David Grilk ’13, received the poster, signed by dozens of St. Lawrence community members who wanted to make sure the message was delivered.

On Wednesday, Tom Grilk wrote to his son and St. Lawrence President William L. Fox to say thank you and to share his own photo:

SLU Boston Sign


David and Bill,

This message of support just arrived from the St. Lawrence community. It is depicted in my office window looking out over the memorial site established last night on Boylston Street with victims of the two blasts in an enormously poignant ceremony. My thanks to everyone involved.

The support received from around the world has been a powerfully sustaining force for us. All of us send our thanks to the entire community at St. Lawrence.  And David, if you hadn't been there with me, with Mom, Chris, and Stephanie, it would have been unendurable.


After hearing news of the Boston Marathon bombings, St. Lawrence paused its usual postings on social media, sending only a couple of notes on Facebook to express concern for everyone’s safety and provide a way for students and alumni to share news of their safety.

On the Tuesday following the events in Boston, St. Lawrence contemplated what to post on social media and in particular, for its Instagram photo challenge, a daily contest taking place throughout April. St. Lawrence’s student social media team, comprised of Rob Glass ’13, Alli Shea ’13, Erica Spera ’13, Kelly Appenzeller ’15 and Jake Hurlbut ’15, decided the best photo would be one where they’d send a simple message on behalf of the St. Lawrence community to Boston.

(Photo by Tara Freeman)

After the photo was taken, the sign remained in the Student Center for others to see and sign. With the help of Chad Tessier, director of parent leadership giving, the sign found its way to Tom Grilk and his family in Boston.

Posted: April 25, 2013

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