Carnegie Mellon University

August 31, 2020

Dear CMU Students, Faculty and Staff:

Earlier today we became aware that overnight someone painted the Fence to change the message “Black Lives Matter” to “All Black Lives Matter”. Later this morning students painted the Fence again to restore the original message.

For over 75 years, painting the Fence has been a student-regulated tradition for communicating and engaging with one another. The rules governing the Fence are upheld by members of the student body. As such, the University does not typically manage the Fence, or interfere with the its content. This is not the first controversial message displayed on the Fence, and we are proud that our students have managed this situation in keeping with the Carnegie Mellon’s culture and values.

The University does not typically comment on the speech that is conveyed on the Fence. However, as anyone who has followed our efforts this summer knows, CMU believes and unequivocally affirms that Black Lives Matter.


Jim Garrett, Provost
Gina Casalegno, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students