December 18, 2015

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

It is with great sorrow that I write to inform you that Anique Ashraf, from the Class of 2017, died early this morning after being struck by a vehicle on Mohegan Avenue. We were waiting to notify the family before we could send this message. This is a devastating loss to his family, his many friends, and to the entire Connecticut College community.

Anique was a brilliant student from Lahore, Pakistan who brought enormous vitality to all aspects of his life and work here at the College. A scholar in our Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, and a double major in art and international relations, Anique was a leader in the LGBTQ community on campus. He was a gifted writer with a compelling voice, who captured many colorful and poignant aspects of life at Connecticut College in his pieces for the blog “The Experience.” He also helped many students in his work as a tutor in the Roth Writing Center. An artist who worked in several different media, Anique spent this past summer as an intern at the Leslie Lohman Gallery of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. He was a person with deeply held convictions who lived life to its fullest. We mourn the loss of this gifted young life, and send our deepest condolences to Anique’s family and to his many close friends in our community.

The staff members in the Office of Student Life are available for any students who need support. Our counselors and our chaplains are also available today to speak with others on campus. Special support will be available in Knowlton for those students who shared a residence house with Anique, in Abby House Common Room for residents of Abby, and in the Cro’s Nest for other close friends of Anique. Residence Life will operate out of Cro 215 today to be more accessible to students. I encourage anyone who needs help to speak to the Office of Counseling Services, a chaplain, a class dean, or anyone in Student Life. I also remind staff and faculty that counseling is available through the Employee Assistance Program.

Harkness Chapel will be open all day for private prayer and reflection. And the College will have an opportunity to come together today at 5:30 p.m. in the 1962 Room. I know this is especially difficult news to receive at this time of the semester. Students who feel the need to postpone scheduled exams should contact the Office of the Dean of the College – at 860-439-2050 or 860-439-2053 or – and work with their class deans to make alternative arrangements.

Anique was a student of great talent, commitment, and compassion. After the break, we will begin working on an appropriate service to mark his life on campus.

Katherine Bergeron