Dear students, colleagues and friends:

On behalf of the entire University of Illinois family, we join Chancellor Robert Jones and countless others in expressing our deep sense of grief over the loss of Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Her disappearance three weeks ago united the U of I community in hope of her safe return and in support of her family and friends. Now, we all share their heartache after the FBI announced yesterday that an arrest has been made and they believe Yingying is no longer alive.

Universities are places of beginning, where bright young minds come to nurture the talents that lead to lifetimes of success and happiness. Yingying’s sudden and tragic loss is felt deeply by all of us across the U of I System who believe in our power to unlock the doors to dreams.

We are grateful to Chancellor Jones and his team for their commitment and compassion throughout the search and its aftermath, and for making Yingying and her family part of ours. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.


Tim Killeen, President

Tim Koritz, Chairman, Board of Trustees

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