Boston Marathon Bombings

A timeline of Boston University’s communication response


Monday, April 15, 2013

  1. Two bombs explode near the Boston Marathon finish line.
  2. BUPD Alert

    BUPD has reports of an explosion near the finish line of Boston marathon on Boyleston St. Information that people are injured in that area. Please remain out of the area of the marathon route. Remain indoors and return to your residence at this time. More information to follow.

  3. BUPD Alert Update

    BUPD working with BPD and are requesting all people to stay clear of Kenmore Sq. and surrounding areas. Please return to your residence and remain indoors. Report any suspicious articles or activity to police.

  4. BU Today publishes first story
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  5. BUPD Alert Update

    BU POLICE SITREP. Latest Update: BUPD continues to work with BPD and the investigation into the incident is ongoing. At this time all residence halls and dining facilities are open and accessible. Please stay clear of the Boylston Street area.

  6. BU Today
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  8. Twitter: 6,506 Facebook: 5,241 2,339 924

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

  1. BU Today Comment from "student/survivor" view discussion
    I was at the finish line yesterday. Directly in between the first and second explosion. I saw everything. I ran for my life with a packed crowd of terrified people, some injured. And for some inexplicable reason, I made i out unharmed. I am completely traumatized, and heart broken, and angry that someone can have me jumping at the sound of a piece of trash falling off of a garbage truck…………………but I went to class this morning. We are a resilient city. I was terrified, but I put on my red sox hat, grabbed my back pack, and headed down comm ave for class bright and early. It made me feel better knowing that I was doing the opposite of what those terrorists wanted. Standing up and being strong. If people don’t feel safe enough to go to school today, or are still completely rattled, then please stay home. Your mental state is more important than any grade you are going to get at BU. But BU made the right decision today. We all heal differently. I will never be able to forget what I experienced yesterday, and seeing the news, I do not know how or why I made it out unharmed. But I will not show weakness. I will stand with the city that I love and be boston strong, because that is all I know how to do.

    You all have your freedom of speech. But please don’t argue. I learned yesterday that life is so terribly short. Don’t take any one second for granted .
  2. Reply from "BU Mom"
    So proud of the strong, smart and beautiful woman you have become. Beyond words at how calm you remained to get your younger sister (also a BU student) and her room mate out of the area and to safety. You are brave and a hero. Xoxo
  3. Reply from "Year-Old Alumna"
    You are an inspiration. Thank you for being strong for us all.
  4. BU Today confirms third victim was BU grad student
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  6. Facebook: 32,485 Twitter: 8,468 3,175 Reddit: 3,105

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

  1. BU Today

    Eyewitness to Terror

    Firsthand accounts of Marathon tragedy from BU doctors, volunteers

    “We Must Stand Together”

    Hundreds gather on Marsh Plaza to honor, grieve

    Answers to Questions in Wake of Marathon Bombings

    Assurance, advice from BU security and counseling experts

  2. BU Today updates article, confirms name of third victim
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  5. Facebook: 12,109 Twitter: 3,307 1,484 993

Thursday, April 18, 2013

  1. BU Today
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  2. BU Today
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  3. The FBI releases photos of the suspected bombers.
  4. The shooting of an MIT police officer in Cambridge launches a series of events, including a manhunt for one of the bombing suspects.
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  6. Facebook: 23,306 Twitter: 3,228 843 796

Friday, April 19, 2013

  1. BUPD Alert

    At Approximately 10:50 pm on Thursday April 18, 2013 a MIT police officer was shot on MIT campus in area of Massachusetts Ave and Vassar Street in Cambridge. The unknown suspect is currently at large. Please stay away from the area and remain indoors. Boston University Police are on patrol within the BU campus

  2. State officials ask residents of Watertown to remain indoors and off the roads.
  3. Public transportation throughout the city is shut down.
  4. BUPD Alert Update

    BU Emergency Alert (Message) LATEST UPDATE The University is cancelling classes today as a result of events related to the ongoing police search for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. The MBTA has closed all service today and Boston Police are advising residents of several communities, including Allston-Brighton, to stay inside. We advise all students to stay inside and attentive to news developments. BU police will be patrolling the campus and monitoring the situation. Updates will follow as information becomes available. Please monitor BU Today at

  5. BU Today
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  6. BU Today Comment from "parent"view discussion
    Does this mean the accepted student open house is cancelled as well?
  7. Reply from "Laurie Pohl, VP/ENSA"
    Yes, all campus events for visiting students and families today are cancelled. This includes Open House programs for admitted students as well as campus information sessions and tours offered through the Admissions Reception Center. Please stay safe.
  8. Reply from "Another Parent"
    Laurie, Is the Open House for Admitted Students for Saturday, 4/20, also cancelled?
  9. Reply from "Gordon Ryan"
    I have been told that Saturday’s programs have not been canceled yet. We will update the alert on this page as decisions are made: admitted/preparing-to-attend-bu/open-house/. We will also send out emails to all registered attendees if there are changes to the programming schedules.

    - Gordon Ryan
    Digital & Social Media Marketing Manager
    BU Admissions
  10. BU Today Comment from "Emma"
    Now, that I’m up are the dining halls open??? I obviously don’t want staff to be here if they don’t have to be.
  11. Reply from "Gary Nicksa"
    Students should stay in their dorms. Dining hall staff who are already on campus will keep dining rooms open. All dining and facilities staff who are home are being told to stay home until public safety officials give the okay to travel.
  12. Reply from "Meg"
    I”m wondering about food for the kids in dorms without dining halls?
  13. Reply from "Rich Barlow"
    West, Warren, and 100 Bay State Rd as well as the Buick St Market are open and will maintain regular hours. Students living in dorms that do not have a dining hall will have a continental breakfast delivered to them this morning. Dining Services is in the process of doing that now…and they will deliver meals later in the day if needed. Students should visit dining services’ website at for up to date info.
  14. Reply from "Craig Hill"
    Just to clarify, Dining Services is in the process of delivering food items such as bagels and coffee to Shelton, Towers, Myles and Danielson. At this time, we do not have enough staff to deliver to all residence halls that do not have a dining hall.
  15. Reply from "Parent in PA"
    Thank you BU Dining Services for food delivery to major residence facilities. My daughter just discovered that she can walk to 520 Park from Buswell for food. I am very nervous about her having to walk, even that short distance, especially as the day progresses and it gets dark. She doesn’t see any BU or other security on that walking route. Anyone know if that will that change as it gets dark?
  16. Reply from "BU mom"
    My daughter is in miles and got breakfast. I want to thank everyone involved in this effort who is keeping our children safe and fed!
  17. State officials expand "shelter in place" order to include Cambridge, Newton, Waltham, Allston, and Brighton.
  18. BUPD Alert Update

    The University is closed and classes are cancelled today. Please stay inside and avoid windows. Be attentive to news developments. BU police will be patrolling the campus and monitoring the situation. Updates will follow as information becomes available. Please monitor BU Today at

  19. BU Today Comment from "Jac"
    Will Student Health Services be open today?
  20. Reply from "Kat Hasenauer Cornetta"
    For right now, please stay indoors. Call Student Health at 617-353-3575 and you will be directed as to what to do.
  21. Reply from "David McBride"
    Student Health Services is closed along with the rest of campus for the safety of our employees. We will be contacting students with appointments for today to inform them. The support groups for today are cancelled, but we will be attempting to reach out to students already affected by this terrible situation. Please stay indoors as instructed by the BUPD.

    David McBride, MD
    Director, Student Health Services
  22. State officials expand "shelter in place" order to include Boston and Brookline.
  23. BU Today Comment from "Parent"
    My son is staying with a friend in the dorm and was supposed to attend the open house for admitted students. I imagine there is nothing he can do right now. Who should we contact?
  24. Reply from "John McEachern"
    Please have your son stay with his friend for the time being. He should follow all guidelines and instructions as made available on All Open House programming has been canceled for today and tomorrow. We will follow up with students with more information about programming at a later date.
  25. BUPD Alert Update

    The University remains closed except for essential personnel. Shelter in place remains in effect. BUPD will have increased patrols throughout the University. For dining information and latest updates please monitor BU Today at

  26. BUPD Alert Update

    The Governor has lifted the shelter in place order. You may resume normal outside activities, but are urged to remain aware of your surroundings and immediately report suspicious activity or articles to BUPD at 617-353-2121. Please monitor BU Today for updates at

  27. BU Today
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  28. BUPD Alert Update

    The University will be open for normal activities tomorrow (Saturday). Please go to BU Today at for complete opening information.

  29. Total BU Today Traffic on 4/19
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  30. Facebook: 16,727 Gawker: 15,586 Google News: 11,405 Twitter: 4,064

    @DeanElmore generated 1,720 referrals, representing 42% of all traffic from Twitter.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

  1. Total BU Today Traffic on 4/20
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  2. Gawker: 9,643 Facebook: 5,167 Reddit: 1,619 688

Sunday, April 21, 2013

  1. Total BU Today Traffic on 4/21
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  2. Gawker: 1,863 Facebook: 1,711 Reddit: 297 201

Monday, April 22, 2013

  1. BU Today live coverage of memorial in English and Chinese
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    Total of 3,953 is higher than Commencement live viewership

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  3. Facebook: 3,127 Buzzfeed: 1,289 Twitter: 366 Gawker: 357

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

  1. BU Today

    Remembering a Daughter

    In poignant eulogy, Lu Lingzi’s father recalls “little jolly girl,” love of beauty

    BU Says Good-bye to Lu Lingzi

    Hundreds mourn a gifted student and a good friend

    Lu Lingzi, Roommate Were Like Sisters

    SED grad student speaks about a lover of Boston, music, food

  2. Email Traffic Advisory

    Memorial Drive, from Amesbury Street to Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge will be closed from midnight tonight until 6:00 pm on Wednesday to accommodate traffic for MIT Officer Sean Collier’s Memorial Service. At 7:00 am, the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, including the exit ramp from Storrow Drive, will close. Pedestrian and bicycle access will be prohibited on Memorial Drive from Amesbury to the Longfellow Bridge beginning at 7:00 am to approximately 6:00 pm. The BU and Longfellow Bridges will remain open.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

  1. BU Today

    Aftermath of Marathon Bombings: Anxiety, Fear Persist for Some

    Where to find help on campus

Summary: April 15 – April 24, 2013

  1. Total BU Today Traffic from 4/15 to 4/24
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  2. Facebook: 105,903 Twitter: 27,070 Gawker: 26,358 Google News: 12,339
  3. Total Traffic from 4/15 to 4/24
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  4. Facebook: 125,326 Twitter: 30,096 Gawker: 26,358 Google News: 12,339
  5. © 2013 Timeline created by Boston University Interactive Design