Joyce Romano, Valencia College’s vice president for student affairs, shared this message with Valencia students, faculty and staff on Tuesday, June 14. Working with information from federal and local authorities, Valencia has identified seven of the deceased victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting as current or former Valencia students. The college also is offering support to Valencia students who may have been injured in the attacks.
Dear Valencia Community,
On behalf of the Student Affairs team, I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to all of our community members who are coping with the loss or injury of a loved one due to the tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Valencia’s ties to our community run deep and wide. Since Sunday, when the names of the victims began to be publicly released, the Student Affairs team has been working diligently with the City of Orlando and local law enforcement to verify names with our records to determine who from the list of victims is a current or previous Valencia student, faculty or staff member.
With great respect to the victims’ families and friends, who were appropriately the first to be notified, we have waited to share the names of those specifically connected to Valencia until we were able to confirm all of them.
After securing and verifying the list of names, we are now able to regretfully share that the following deceased victims were Valencia students. We join their families and friends in mourning the loss and celebrating the lives of:
- Amanda Alvear
- Oscar A. Arancena-Montero
- Cory James Connell
- Mercedez Marisol Flores
- Juan Ramon Guerrero
- Jason Benjamin Josaphat
- Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo
We hope that each of you take a moment of silence to mourn for those in our community who have been lost, but not forgotten.
As we collectively grieve for and remember these victims, please know that Student Affairs and Valencia leadership are working hard to provide support for our students by enhancing security measures and providing additional resources for victims and those otherwise affected by this tragedy. Free counseling services are available on campuses through our Advising Centers or by calling BayCare Behavioral Health at 800-878-5470.
In addition to providing these resources, Valencia campuses are planning events, such as vigils, memorial services and blood drives, to help our community heal in its time of suffering as we honor our loved ones and friends.
We join with the Orlando community to come together and stand in love and acceptance against the hatred and ignorance that led to this tragedy. We stand in solidarity with every member of our community to mourn, to comfort, to unite — and ensure that Orlando is a safe and respectful community for all.
With deepest sympathy,
Vice President, Student Affairs