Speeches & Commentary

The tragic loss of a student

Dear Danforth Campus faculty and staff,

We’re writing with heavy hearts to share the news that one of our students has died. As you’ll see in the note below that Vice Chancellor Anna Gonzalez sent to students a short time ago, Anamika Basu, a senior in the McKelvey School of Engineering, passed away on April 3. We are offering our full support to her family and those who were close to her, and wanted you to be aware of this devastating loss.

We know you will join us in offering patience and understanding to those who are particularly affected. An online resource, Strategies for Supporting Students Through Tragedy, may be helpful for those of you who interact directly with students.

This is difficult news to process and we encourage you to seek support if you need it. Our employee assistance program, Work-Life Solutions, is available to you 24/7 for counseling and referral services. Please consider utilizing this resource if it would be helpful.

There are no words that are enough at a time like this. The loss of a young person is heartbreaking, especially in a community like ours where we all care so deeply for one another. Please know we join you in your feelings of sadness and grief.


Andrew D. Martin

Shantay N. Bolton
Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Administrative Officer

Beverly Wendland
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Dear students,

I am so sad to have to share with you the tragic news of the death of one of your classmates, Anamika Basu, a senior in the James McKelvey School of Engineering, who passed away on April 3rd. This is a horrible loss for our community. I can imagine the feeling of shock and sadness as you process this information. We offer our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and loved ones.

During this time of great loss, we are reminded of the importance of community. Losing a fellow student and member of our university is always very difficult. I encourage those who feel they may need additional support to contact the Mental Health Services (314-935-6666), the Office for Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life (314-935-5257), or WashU Cares (314-935-3566) for any emotional assistance you may need. Additionally, we want students to be familiar with Timely Care (students.wustl.edu/timelycare/), a free virtual service where mental and physical health support and professionals can be available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Out of respect for the privacy of Anamika’s family during this difficult time, we are not sharing any additional details about her passing. Additionally, the family is planning a private, invitation-only ceremony to honor her near their home. Please utilize the resources listed, take care of one another as you are able, and lean into your communities for support.


Dr. G