Cornell’s Morbid History II: A (Sadly) Busy Year

30 01 2010

Glancing over at Elie Bilmes’s Fast Lane Blog, he made mention of the most recent student fatality from Cornell University, that of sophomore Mark von Bucher, who succumbed to injuries sustained in a skiing accident in Utah over winter break. He goes on to note that this is the eighth student fatality this year.

Offhand, let’s goes through that list. The Daily Sun makes it easy because it all gets placed on the “tragic” node. Respectfully, the Sun does not display ads in this node either due to the nature of its content.

1. David Yang ’11 was killed in a car accident in Missouri in late August.

2. Warren Schor ’11 succumbed to complications related to contracting the H1N1 “Swine Flu” Virus in mid September.

3. Boon Jim Lim ’13 was found dead in his dorm room in late October. The family has chosen to not disclose the cause of death.

4. Rion Wight ’09, who had been on academic leave for the past two years, died unexpectedly in late October, a week after the death of Boon Jim Lim. No cause of death was released.

5. Lucas Wooster, a 32-year-old Ph.D. student, died unexpectedly in early November. His death has been speculated by some to be a suicide.

6. Adam Frey ’11 lost a two-year-long battle to cancer the day after Christmas.

7. Clayton DeFisher ’11 died after suffering cardiac arrest at a New Year’s celebration.

8. Oliver Schaufelberger ’11 died at home around January 13th. The family has chosen to keep the cause of death private.

9. The aforementioned Mark von Bucher ’12.

If you count the Ph.D. student, that makes for nine fatalities. Comparably, the tragic node records three student fatalities for the entirety of the previous academic year.

This has been a truly unfortunate year for the student body of Cornell.



2 responses

14 03 2010

i came across your blog. i am a bit disappointed with your final summary of the deaths. “If you count the PhD student” sounds really tacky. I mean, why would you not include the PhD student’s tragic loss? Is he/was he not part of the Cornell student body, as you rightly mention in the very last line? Or are you more interested in undergraduate tragedies? Whatever your intention, there really is no point for that ‘disclaimer’ statement.

14 03 2010
B. C.

This entry was partially in response to another blog that was keeping in track of the number of fatalities. They had noted nine total at the time this was written. The distinction of the graduate student was made because the other blog may or may not have considered his death in its tally since it had only recorded eight of the nine student deaths. Taking that into regard, a distinction was made here for undergraduate student fatalities and separately for total school fatalities. I do not think that the loss of any particular student’s life is any more or less tragic than any of the other deaths the Cornell community has had to deal with this academic year.

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