On Tuesday, as we've reported, a CU Boulder student died at Stearns West, part of the Williams Village dormitory complex. That student has now been identified as George Graham, 21, but a cause of death has not yet been determined. Here's what we've learned thus far about a promising young man who lost his life much too soon.
According to a news release sent to CU Boulder students, faculty and staff under the name of Christina Gonzales, Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, CU Boulder police received a call about an unresponsive male student at Stearns West shortly before 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26 -- only the second day of the fall term.
Paramedics rushed to the room, but they were too late. The student had passed away -- a tragedy that cast a pall over the start of a new school year at the university. The CU Boulder Facebook page, which shared Gonzales's message (including her note that investigators saw no indication of foul play), was flooded with condolences long before the student's identity was made public.
Yesterday evening, as noted by the Boulder Daily Camera, authorities confirmed the identity of Graham, whose Facebook page reveals that he was originally from Moline, Illinois before moving to Colorado Springs.
The page lists him as having been home-schooled prior to studies at Wheaton College and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
He also appears to have been deeply religious. He worked at Ecumenical Social Ministries in the Springs, and the Facebook groups to which he belonged include CU Younglife College, which one member describes as "a great place (and a safe place) to come and ask questions...if you don't know God intimately," and Boulder Cru, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Why was a 21-year-old with some previous college experience at Stearns West, typically a freshman dorm? A possible answer can be found in a post by Graham on the Boulder Cru page back in July. He wrote that he was transferring from UCCS to CU Boulder and was looking for housing during the fall and spring terms.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
As for what took Graham's life, the Camera reveals that the Boulder coroner's office hasn't announced a definitive determination. Word about the cause and manner of his death is pending further investigation.
Graham appears to have had a large and loving family. We offer our sincere condolences to them, as well as to his friends, acquaintances and the larger CU Boulder community.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.