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Tragedy at the Capital Gazette

June 29, 2018

Dear University of Maryland community,

A horrific tragedy befell our state yesterday — the shooting rampage at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis.

I am heartbroken to report that among the victims killed are three members of our University of Maryland family, two alumni and an adjunct faculty member, as confirmed by Dean Lucy Dalglish of our Philip Merrill College of Journalism:

  • Gerald Fischman ’79, editorial page editor.
  • John McNamara ’83,​​ sports reporter and editor of the Crofton and Bowie newspapers.
  • Rob Hiaasen, lecturer in journalism; columnist and assistant editor.

We share in the grief of their families, friends, and colleagues for their profound loss.

Gerald, John, and Rob pursued successful careers in a noble American institution. Our free press is a monument to American civilization. A targeted attack on a newsroom is an attack on an institution essential to our democracy.

At the appropriate time, the University will memorialize these journalists. Meanwhile, please hold them, and their loved ones and colleagues, in your thoughts and prayers — even as we recognize that more than silent reflection is needed to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country.

The Merrill College is named for the late Philip Merrill, a notable journalist, owner, and publisher of the Capital Gazette, founded in 1884. Our hearts also go out to members of his family, who are steadfast supporters of the next generation of journalists educated at the Merrill College.