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Dartmouth student dies during study abroad in Barcelona

Union Leader Correspondents

January 09. 2012 9:35AM


HANOVER - - More than 100 Dartmouth College students turned out for an informal gathering at the Phi Delta Alpha fraternity house Sunday to remember classmate Crispin Scott, Dartmouth spokesman Roddy Young said Monday.

Scott, who was to graduate in 2013, was found dead in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday. He was in Barcelona to participate in a study abroad program offered through Portland State University.

'We have reached out to Crispin's family to offer our condolences and support. The family's loss is unimaginable. We continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers, as we collectively mourn the loss of a son, brother, loved one, friend, teammate, and cherished member of the Dartmouth community,' Charlotte Johnson, Dartmouth College dean, wrote in a letter to staff and students on Monday. 'Crispin was much beloved and his death has devastated our community.'

Scott was originally from the Seattle suburb of Mercer Island and attended middle and high school at University Preparatory Academy in Seattle.

'He was one of the most friendly guys I ever knew,' said Dartmouth Student Brian Frake, who said he lived in the same dorm building as Crispin when they were freshmen.

Scott was a member of the Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club.

'With heavy hearts, the DRFC mourns the untimely loss of one of our own. Our thoughts are with Crispin Scott's family and friends during this difficult time,' the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club wrote on its Facebook page on Sunday.

Scott had just arrived in Barcelona to participate in a two-month Academy of Liberal and Beaux-Arts program sponsored by Portland State University when he was found dead this weekend, according to an email Johnson sent to students.

No cause of death has been determined. The college is still waiting to hear from Spanish authorities regarding the investigation, Young said.

'At this point, we still do not have official word of the cause of death. We are closely following the investigation and will update the community, as appropriate, and as the facts are confirmed by Spanish officials,' Johnson wrote.

Classes for the program, which runs from January to March, were scheduled to begin Monday, according to a schedule posted on the program's website.

The program's director, Charles Grant, told the student newspaper The Dartmouth that Scott had been at a get-together of program students Friday night and did not go home that same night. His absence was not noticed until he failed to show up for an orientation Saturday, Young said.

'He had just arrived and the first part of the program was to begin,' Young said. 'He missed that first piece.'

Scott's body was found Saturday in an apartment not operated by the program on Saturday, Grant told The Dartmouth.

Grant, who could not be reached, told The Dartmouth it appeared Scott died in his sleep.

Dartmouth students have participated in the Portland State ALBA program since 2005.

This is not the first time a student has died abroad. In December 2009, Dartmouth junior Cody Lavender died at the University of Edinburgh when he fell from a balcony. He was at the university in Scotland to participate in the Dartmouth Religion Foreign Study Program.

To help the 81 members of the Dartmouth community who are studying in Barcelona cope with the tragedy, the college has sent John Tansey, executive director of Dartmouth's Off-Campus Programs office, to counsel them. He was to arrive in Barcelona on Monday.

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