To members of the university community,
What had been a beautiful fall Saturday in Oxford ended with a horrendous event that took the life of one of our students. Walker Fielder, a junior from Madison, Mississippi, was killed and another student, Blanche Williamson, a sophomore from Raleigh, North Carolina, was seriously injured after they were struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run just off the Square. It is a painful and distressing development for our campus community, and it is understandable that emotions are high with many unanswered questions about what happened.
Please join me in offering heartfelt condolences to Walker’s family, friends, classmates, and others. Walker was a leader in the Sigma Chi fraternity, and a widely liked member of our campus community. While there are no words that can alleviate the deep sorrow that his friends and family are experiencing, please keep them close in your thoughts and prayers during this time of immense grief.
In addition, please pray that Blanche continues to heal and recovers fully. She needs our support, love, and care.
I am grateful to the Oxford Police Department for its swift response. They are working with other law enforcement agencies to investigate this case vigorously, and two suspects who are not affiliated with our university are now in custody. Our community can help investigators by avoiding public speculation about what happened or why, and share relevant information if you have it. If you have any information that can help, please contact the Oxford Police Department at 662-232-2400, the University Police Department at 662-915-7234, or CrimeStoppers at 662-234-8799. Since this matter is an ongoing investigation, OPD will share updates with the public as they are able.
We are a tight-knit and welcoming campus and community, which is what makes this act so jarring for us. I urge anyone in need of support to reach out to those around them, or to seek assistance from one of the following university support services:
- University Counseling Center
- UMatter: Student Support & Advocacy
- Student Health Services
- Psychological Services Center
- Clinic for Outreach and Personal Enrichment (COPE)
Glenn F. Boyce