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Message from President McPhee: Update on Riverdale High School graduation incident

To the University community,

On behalf of all Blue Raiders, I wanted to extend our condolences to the Riverdale students, faculty and family members affected by Wednesday night’s tragedy after the high school’s graduation ceremony at Murphy Center. Further, I want to express our appreciation to Murfreesboro Police for their rapid work leading to Thursday’s arrest of a suspect.

We are not aware of any MTSU involvement or connection to Wednesday’s incident. As you may know, Rutherford County Schools rents Murphy Center to host and stage its commencement events. After the incident, we offered support to the school system for additional needs for its final commencement held the next day for another of its high schools. We also appreciate Murfreesboro Police and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office lending aid to the schools to enhance security presence for this week’s remaining events.

Our campus police department was among the first responders to Wednesday’s incident and worked closely with Murfreesboro Police and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation. My thanks to interim MTSU Police Chief Kevin Williams, Capt. Jason Wofford and all our officers for their response and ongoing efforts. 

Our University is, and has always been, focused on the safety of our community. We use Rave Alerts as our critical notification alert system to send timely text, email and voice alerts under circumstances that pose a threat of imminent danger or when it is vital to contact the campus. I urge all of our students, faculty and staff to register for Rave Alerts at

Sincerely,Sidney A.


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