A gathering will be held Friday for the community to grieve and to support one another following the loss of Joshua Watson ’22 and Sam Gawel ’23, President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 announced this afternoon.
Student leaders will join President Hanlon in hosting the gathering starting at 4 p.m. on the Baker-Berry lawn.
“During my time as Dartmouth president, the most difficult moments for the community and for me have been when one of our own has died. Each instance is deeply sad in its own unique way,” Hanlon said in the email. “Twice this week, in a 24-hour period, I have had to announce such a loss.”
The new academic year, normally a time filled with promise and joy, has been transformed by these tragic deaths, Hanlon said.
“Losing these much beloved and gifted young men in such a short time has dramatically compounded our sadness,” he said. “We are shocked, grief-stricken, and confused.”
The pain of loss takes time to process, Hanlon said. “Many of us will contend with difficult and evolving emotions in the coming days and far beyond. For that reason, at this moment, it is important for a community like ours to be together, to express ourselves, to share and to listen, and to be there for each other.”
As difficult as this week has been, Hanlon said, “I hope ending it together will bring some comfort to us all.”