Carnegie Mellon University

March 30, 2016

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon University Community,

We are deeply saddened to inform you of the unrelated deaths of two students, both of which we learned about last night.

Yesterday Dean of Student Affairs Gina Casalegno wrote to the campus community about Elliott Glasgow, a first-year undergraduate in engineering, who had been missing. Elliott was discovered last night in an isolated space in his residence hall. Elliott, who came to us from New York City, was a vital member of his residential community and a brother of Phi Delta Theta, known by his many friends for his wit and sense of humor.

Rajat Patra, a student in the Heinz College Master of Information Systems Management program, died in his off-campus apartment. Rajat came from his home in Bangalore to Carnegie Mellon last August to undertake his studies. He was a passionate student who had earned a prestigious internship for the summer and was planning to create his own IT consultancy after graduation. He was also an avid guitar player and proud member of the Heinz community.

We have no reason to believe that these deaths are connected, and want to reassure you that there is no threat to other members of our community. As we share in your sorrow, we want to acknowledge how deeply upsetting these losses are to those who knew Elliott and Rajat, and to the entire Carnegie Mellon community. The team of housefellows, college liaisons, advisors, and others are always available for student support. We would urge any member of our community to engage our Counseling and Psychological Services, either for yourself or as a point of referral for a friend. You may reach a counselor at any time, day or night, at 412-268-2922. Finally, members of the Carnegie Mellon community have a history of looking out for one another. Let us all commit to being especially vigilant and caring for one another at this difficult time.

We will invite members of our campus community to gather this week for mutual support and reflection — we will share details about that soon. Out of respect for this loss, and to focus our efforts on those affected by these deaths, we have decided to postpone the president’s Annual Update that had been scheduled for tomorrow.

The health and welfare of our students is our highest shared commitment, for us personally, for the entire leadership team, and for the whole university community. This has been an area of particular focus and remains among the highest priorities across campus, at all levels. The loss of two young lives — gifted students and valued members of the Carnegie Mellon community — underscores the urgency of our task.

Our hearts go out to all of you, and especially to the families and friends of Elliott and Rajat.


Subra Suresh, President
Farnam Jahanian, Provost
Gina Casalegno, Dean of Student Affairs