Message from Brian Mueller: Find comfort in times of tragedy
As we celebrate Jesus’ glory this Easter and rejoice in His resurrection, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the tragedy that has befallen our GCU community.
As most of you are aware, two GCU students were among three people killed early Friday morning in a head-on, wrong-way collision along Interstate 17. Keaton Tyler Allison, a 21-year-old GCU student from Colorado Springs, Colo., was driving a vehicle that collided with a vehicle occupied by 20-year-old GCU student Karli Arlene Richardson and her 18-year-old sister, Kelsey Mae Richardson, both of Mooresville, N.C. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
Keaton was a Young Life leader who impacted the lives of many youths. Karli was getting ready to graduate this spring. Her sister was in town visiting and they were en route to the Grand Canyon to see the sun rise. Our hearts ache for both families in this incredibly difficult time.
A memorial service is planned for Karli at 8 p.m. Wednesday on the new lawn behind Cypress Hall.
Services for Keaton will take place off campus at 7 p.m. Tuesday. If you are interested in attending, please reach out to Pastor Tim Griffin’s office for further details.
The GCU family grows every year as the University continues its remarkable expansion, yet it remains a tight-knit community. More than half our students live on campus in a welcoming culture that is unlike anything I have seen in 40 years of education. Whether pursuing their academic studies or walking side by side into the neighborhood on one of our many community outreach initiatives, our students, faculty and staff truly care for one another.
In times of unimaginable loss like these, we know that thousands of you are searching for answers and coping with your grief. Seek comfort and assurance in one another and know that there is a greater power in heaven to give you that comfort. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble, with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Our Lord can sympathize with our tragedies because He too has been there. He suffered for us. As the Apostle Peter wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3).
May God comfort and guide you through this difficult time. Pastor Tim’s office and the entire Student Affairs staff will be available in Building 26 to assist anyone who needs support or counseling.
President, Grand Canyon University