It's clearly, in my view, a racially-motivated incident. In general, we as a Cornell community, and more specifically the black community, are very concerned - we condemn it.

You definitely feel disturbed by this. For now, I walk by myself, but it is alarming.

Don also was known as a great storyteller, and students often left his classroom with smiles on their faces. Over the years Don had gained the reputation among his former students as a passionate, compelling teacher and a highly respected mentor.

He touched the lives of many people. ... He was a faithful friend and very supportive of colleagues in his field, ... We [at the department] are moved by the outpouring of letters from former students and colleagues.