The University of Delaware says three apparent nooses found hanging from a tree on campus are being investigated as a hate crime.

Interim university President Nancy Targett said in a statement posted online early Wednesday morning that a student found the items hanging from a tree in front of campus building.

Targett says such "cowardly and reprehensible acts" won't be tolerated and says the university will work to identify those responsible and hold them accountable. University police are investigating.

The statement said a campuswide gathering would be held Wednesday, but no further details were immediately available.