July 20, 2018
Dear UT Community,
Today, a jury in Austin reached a verdict in the trial surrounding the 2016 murder of UT student Haruka Weiser. It found the suspect guilty of this horrific crime.
During the trial, emotions have come rushing back for so many in our community. A verdict provides some closure, but it doesn’t heal the pain or ease the sense of loss felt by Haruka’s family and all of the students, faculty members and staff members to whom she meant so much. We still hurt terribly. We still feel her loss on a profound level.
Haruka’s life was dedicated to positivity and creativity. She adored living in Austin, and during the past two years the people of Austin have shown nothing but love and support to her family. That is the legacy she has left behind, and it is inspiring to everyone here at UT.
This spring, a powerful dance piece, “Transcendence,” was performed for the first time. It was the inaugural work in the Haruka Weiser Commission series — which funds new artistic performances in celebration of Haruka’s life and art. I can think of no better way to remember her than this: to illuminate the stages she danced on so marvelously, with new ideas, thoughts and visions.
So, in these difficult days, know that The University of Texas will continue to honor and celebrate our vibrant student Haruka Weiser. She is deeply missed, but her memory is a great source of strength for so many here on the Forty Acres. It always will be.
Gregory L. Fenves