Posted on April 26, 2005

Student Arrested in Trinity Hate-Mail Case

Susan Kuczka, Chicago Tribune, Apr. 26

A Trinity International University student has been arrested and charged with sending racially inflammatory hate mail to classmates, prompting last week’s evacuation of minority students from the north suburban school, police said today.

The unidentified student is an African-American woman who was unhappy attending the Bannockburn college and wanted to convince her parents it was too dangerous for her to stay.

“It’s kind of a sad story, actually,” Bannockburn Police Lt. Ron Price said.


After a third letter was received Thursday, university officials and police took the precautionary step of moving 43 students of color to an unidentified hotel.

“This is an agonizing moment for Trinity, one that is unprecedented for our university,” Trinity President Greg Waybright said in a prepared statement. “We are heartbroken by this revelation because we consider each student a member of our family. We also have a sense of relief because this difficult situation appears to be resolved.”


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An article written before the culprit was found:

Trinity Shows Its Solidarity

Susan Kuczka and Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune, Apr. 16

With many students wearing yellow T-shirts in a show of solidarity, classmates were reunited Monday at Trinity International University in Bannockburn for the first time since minority students were evacuated last week over concerns about racist hate mail.

“So many students wanted to wear them that they sent out a campus voicemail today saying that they would begin selling them again,” said Melissa Stratis, Trinity’s director of publications, referring to the shirts that were used to celebrate an African-American festival in February.


Buffalo Grove resident Connie Dovichi, who has three sons at Trinity, said she appreciated the increased security on campus.

“It’s frightening, I think, for all the students. They don’t know what to expect,” said Dovichi, a Trinity graduate. “But when my boys told me there was lots of security there, it made me feel better.”

The three letters, written on notebook paper and apparently in the same handwriting, remained in the possession of Bannockburn police Monday but may be turned over to the FBI for analysis, Tracz said.

Counselors were available Monday for anyone who wanted to talk about the incident privately. A school forum on the incident was planned, officials said.

Besides talking about the racist mailings, students also were coping through prayer and fellowship, Cantwell said.


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