Freshman in CCAS dies on weekend trip to New York

A freshman in the Columbian College of Arts of Sciences died over the weekend, according to an email sent to students. He was 19.

Felipe Guzmán Ayala, a first-year student who lived in Somers Hall, died Friday evening while visiting his brother in New York, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Cissy Petty said in an email sent Monday. Petty urged students to take advantage of counseling services available at the Colonial Health Center and to contribute memories of Guzmán Ayala to the Remembering Felipe Project, a website his parents created.

“For those of you who knew Felipe, please remember and celebrate his life and his spirit that filled many with joy, hope and strength,” Petty said. “For those who did not have a chance to meet him in the residence halls or in class, we ask that you respect those who may be grieving at this time.”

Petty’s statement did not include a cause of death.

Guzmán Ayala was from Bogotá, Colombia, according to his Facebook profile.

His family plans to hold a mass in Bogotá for him on Feb. 29 or Mar. 7, depending on how quickly family members can travel to the city from New York, according to a Facebook post in a Spanish-language group for evangelical Catholics to meet one another.

Benefactors also plan to hold a tree planting to honor Guzmán Ayala, according to the post.


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