Brown University Student Dies in Beijing

October 31, 2009  |  Media Contact: Mark Nickel |  401-863-1638
Brown University officials learned late Friday of the death in Beijing of Arun Stewart, a member of the Class of 2011 from Dallas.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University officials learned early Friday evening that a Brown University student studying in China for the year had died in a fall. According to Chinese authorities, Arun Stewart, a junior from Dallas, was attending a gathering of friends on the rooftop terrace of a Beijing apartment building and lost his footing.

Chinese officials and officers of the U.S. State Department have been working with administrators of the Inter-University Program in Beijing, and administrators have communicated with Stewart’s parents, who are en route to Beijing.

Brown President Ruth J. Simmons sent the following message to the campus community:

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

It is with great sadness that I write to you with the news that Arun Stewart ’11 died yesterday in Beijing. We learned last night that he was attending a gathering of friends on the rooftop terrace of a Beijing apartment building and lost his footing. He was enrolled in the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP) at Tsinghua University.

Arun was completing an AB in East Asian Studies at Brown. He was an exceptional student with a passion for Chinese language and literature. A graduate of Greenhill School in Dallas, he had lived in Hong Kong and traveled in mainland China many times. At Tsinghua he had the ambitious goal of becoming fluent enough in Mandarin to write and perform creative works that drew on classical texts and familiar cultural tropes. We will mourn the loss of his unique creative spirit in our community.

For students who would like to come together to remember Arun, the Chaplain's Office will host an informal gathering Sunday evening at 6 p.m. in Room 411 of J. Walter Wilson. A memorial service will be held after Thanksgiving.

Support for students is available through the Office of Student Life, the Chaplain’s Office, and Psychological Services. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Life at 863-3145 during the day; after normal business hours the administrator on call may be reached through the Department of Public Safety at 863-3322.

Our thoughts are with Arun's family and friends at this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Ruth Simmons


Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.