Anonymous Bomb Threats at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

February 2, 2022

Dear Gonzaga Community:

Every February, our nation and community commemorate the many contributions that Black Americans have made in creating and shaping our country over centuries. It is an important annual observation in which we celebrate achievements, honor rich cultural heritage and traditions, acknowledge painful incidents and tragedies, and note many triumphs over adversity. It is also an imperative that we raise awareness of the racism and prejudice that are a pervasive reality against which we must continually fight. More information about Gonzaga’s Black History Month events will be forthcoming.

The commencement of this year’s Black History Month has been accompanied by a series of bomb threats directed at numerous historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU’s) – threats that are intended to instill fear, disrupt campus operations, and leave students, faculty and staff attacked and anxious.

I want to take this opportunity to denounce, in the strongest possible terms, the threats directed at colleagues and students at these numerous exemplary institutions. Anonymous threats are a particularly heinous way of attempting to intimidate people, and as we ourselves have seen (through, for example, the terrible Zoom-bombing of our own BSU students in November 2020), technology has made such behaviors both easier to carry out, and more difficult to trace. In a nation where many Black and marginalized people live daily with fear and anxiety – out of a history and lived experience of disproportionately higher rates of actual violence (including bombings) – we cannot simply stand by quietly without acknowledging the anxiety and harm these incidents can cause. These incidents are creating impacts on campuses throughout our country, including our own. I ask that every member of our university community stand in solidarity with our Black students and colleagues, and make an intentional effort to affirm our individual and collective commitment to the safety of member of this university community – particularly those who are likely to be personally impacted by these events.

Sincerely yours,

Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.

Learn more about Gonzaga's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and check out our upcoming Black History Month events.