To our beloved School of Nursing community graphic
'Nothing can prepare you for times like these,' writes Dean Marianne Baernholdt in the wake of the Nov. 13 shooting at UVA, 'but we are a family and must support one another. It is what nurses do.'

My dear students:

It has been a heartbreaking morning after a traumatic, heartbreaking evening. I am hopeful that each of you is safe and that you’re leaning on one another as we get through this collective trauma.

While the University organizes a commemorative vigil for the three student lives that were lost, I write to invite all of you to come together tomorrow, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m., in the Fontaine Resilience Garden (weather permitting) and McLeod Hall common areas. There, we will have warm drinks, food, and some furry friends, including Kenny, the School’s therapy dog. Come to talk, listen, cry, hug, be heard, and be together. We will support one another.

Here are a few other details to share:

  • Counseling services continue to be available for all UVA students, both virtually and in person; please take advantage of this resource;

  • BSN and CNL students’ clinical rotations are canceled for tomorrow, Nov. 15; program coordinators have already alerted these groups and made special accommodations or exceptions at the request of students;

  • A Zoom with Theresa Carroll, senior assistant dean of students at the School of Nursing, is scheduled for tonight, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. Please join to ask questions, voice observations or concerns, or just be part of our community;

  • Our Compassionate Care Initiative and Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Excellence Achievement (IDEA) are leading extra in-person and virtual gatherings specifically for nursing students, faculty, and staff this week and beyond to provide support, which are listed below;

  • It is imperative that each of you recognizes that your mental health and well-being take priority; assignments, clinical rotations, exams, homework, and grades should not provide additional stress. Your professors promise grace and flexibility, but you must be gracious and flexible with yourselves, too. Please eat well, drink water, and sleep as best as you can.

This is an extraordinarily sad, deeply unsettling moment: my heart breaks for the three students whose lives were cut short—D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr., and Devin Chandler—the two students who were injured, and the families that love them, as well as the family of the suspected shooter, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., who is also a UVA student and one of our own.

Nothing can prepare you for times like these, but we are a family and must move forward as one as we support one another and our extended UVA community. It is what we nurses do.

Be well,

Marianne Baernholdt first name signature

Marianne Baernholdt, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
Dean and the Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing


Monday, Nov. 14

  • 5 p.m. - School of Nursing community Zoom for students, with Theresa Carroll, senior assistant dean for student services, and others
  • 7 p.m. – UVA Contemplative Sciences Center will hold its virtual Mindfulness Monday Meetup; register here
  • 7 p.m. - A UVA vigil will be held on South Lawn by Old Cabell Hall, with candles provided for students and community members to pick up as an immediate sign of support until the University formalizes plans for a large-scale vigil down the line, out of respect for those who are most directly affected and who are grieving

Tuesday, Nov. 15

  • 10 a.m. - Gathering for students in the Fontaine Resilience Garden (weather permitting) and McLeod Hall lobby areas, with food, warm drinks, and therapy animals: join us to voice your feelings, share community, and come together
  • 5:30 p.m. – CCI Mindfulness Meditation with Sam Green; register here
  • 6 p.m. - Santosha for Sisters; virtual and in-person (CMNEB student lounge/lobby); register here

Wednesday, Nov. 16

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Compassionate Care Initiative and IDEA drop-in hours for students, faculty, and staff, CMNEB student lounge/lobby - with Buddhist chaplain and hospice nurse Cathy Campbell, Kenny the therapy dog, and others, join this informal meeting to come together and reflect, take part in creative activities to help process thoughts and feelings

Thursday, Nov. 17

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Compassionate Care Initiative and IDEA drop-in hours for students, faculty, and staff, CMNEB student lounge/lobby - with Buddhist chaplain and hospice nurse Cathy Campbell, IDEA director Ivy Hinton, Kenny the therapy dog, and others, join this informal meeting to come together and reflect, take part in creative activities to help process thoughts and feelings
  • 1 p.m. – CCI Guided Meditation with Betty Mooney; register here

Friday, Nov. 18

  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Compassionate Care Initiative and IDEA drop-in hours for students, faculty, and staff, CMNEB student lounge/lobby - with IDEA director Ivy Hinton, Kenny the therapy dog, and others, join this informal meeting to come together and reflect, take part in creative activities to help process thoughts and feelings