Speeches & Writings

Update on mural vandalism

Dear Danforth Campus students, faculty and staff,

In December, we wrote to you about a despicable act of vandalism on our campus. The defacement of the “Never-Ending Story” mural in the South 40 underpass was distressing for us all, and we were shocked and saddened that someone would do something like this to such a beautiful and meaningful work of art.

At the time of our message, WUPD had already begun its investigation into the incident, working in partnership with regional and federal law enforcement agencies. That investigation is continuing, but we wanted to provide our campus community with an update at this time on the status of the investigation and the mural itself.

  • Through review of available evidence, including footage from cameras in the area of the underpass, WUPD was able to identify a person of interest in this case and make an arrest. This person is not a member of the university community. WUPD has interviewed this person and requested that charges be filed through the county prosecutor’s office.
  • The investigation continues, with WUPD conducting interviews and reviewing evidence in collaboration with local and federal law enforcement. We’re hopeful that additional suspects will be identified. Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call WUPD at 314-935-5555.
  • Earlier this week, students and administrators joined together to paint over the mural, to finish the work that began on the night of the vandalism when students mobilized quickly to remove the offensive material. We are in touch with the mural artists to consider ways that we could potentially work together to recreate or memorialize their work in a more permanent way.
  • We also are reviewing the guidelines and policies for use of the underpass tunnel by student organizations to promote their events and messages. We will communicate directly to our students when we have a recommendation for moving forward with this.

We want to again thank and commend our students for their powerful response to this painful incident and WUPD for its diligence in leading the investigation. We will continue to keep you informed as there are significant developments to share. Thank you for being a part of our community and helping us in our efforts to create a campus environment where all feel safe, supported and welcome.


Andrew D. Martin

Shantay N. Bolton
Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Administrative Officer

Anna “Dr. G” Gonzalez
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Beverly Wendland
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs