Condolences and Support for our Friends in Norway

The unfathomable tragedy in Norway has struck a particularly deep chord with so many of us in Wisconsin, where we have strong historical, cultural, economic, and institutional connections with a nation known for promoting peace and understanding. Our kinship with Norway is rooted in our communities and remains vital today through countless educational, governmental, and other official relationships, as well as individual ties.

For UW-Madison, these ties are both institutional and personal, with our students and scholars involved at many levels in research and long-standing exchanges and Norwegian scholars and students coming here to study and living on campus and in our communities.

Like so many of my colleagues at UW-Madison and across Wisconsin who feel close to Norway, I am shocked and saddened by the horrific events that have unfolded there, the senseless loss of so many lives, particularly so many young lives. The sheer barbarity of the killings is especially unimaginable in a country that works tirelessly for peace, human rights, conflict resolution around the world.

I join others throughout the UW-Madison community in offering my heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families, and friends, and will keep them in my thoughts in the days ahead.

Undoubtedly, this tragedy will draw all of us with ties to both UW and Norway closer.  As the details and background behind this tragedy continue to emerge, we will stand by our Norwegian friends and colleagues to provide comfort, support, and aid. Whatever the impetus behind this, be it some form of extremism or something else, those of us in higher education need to do our part, based on our core values of education and respect for human values, to address the causes that led to this human massacre.

Gilles Bousquet
Dean, Division of International Studies
Vice Provost for Globalization
University of Wisconsin-Madison