CMU former student dead at frat house on campus

Filed in Gather News Channel by on March 7, 2010 0 Comments

Update 3/11/10:

From CMU’s President for Campus Affairs: I am writing to confirm that the young man who died Sunday in a fraternity house on campus was Matthew Tembo, most recently a student at the University of Pittsburgh in Greensburg. Matt was a student at Carnegie Mellon during the 2007-2008 year.

While Matt was a student here for a short time, he was widely connected across campus and within the fraternity and sorority community, in particular. He was involved with his fraternity’s buggy program as a pusher and a mechanic. He also was actively involved in the E-Tower residential community. Among his many activities, he especially loved soccer, both as a player and a fan. Matt’s friends describe him as personable and outgoing, making and maintaining friendships easily, with a genuine nature and sincerity that endeared him to others.

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Pittsburgh, PA–Michael C. Murphy, Vice President for Campus Affairs, notified Carnegie Mellon employees that a 22-year-old former student died in a Carnegie Mellon fraternity house earlier today. The cause of death has not been confirmed, but foul play is not suspected.

Obviously, Carnegie Mellon is not immune to death among its young people. But while it’s bad enough that they die from car accidents, health issues or events like 911, this is a little more disturbing.

I’ve worked at CMU for around 23 years, and I don’t recall of more than a few deaths on campus. A few years ago, a student committed suicide (he took the “Engineer’s Leap” down the stairwell in Wean Hall) and a few have died in car accidents. I don’t recall hearing of a drug or alcohol related death yet, though.

We’re waiting to hear if the death had anything to do with drugs and alcohol (something all too common on other university campuses in Pittsburgh and across the nation). Carnegie Mellon is supposed to be the cream of the crop when it comes to intelligence, but CMU students are known to smoke and drink too much, just like young people everywhere.

This is any parent’s nightmare, and my heart goes out to the parents of the dead student. I will let you know more as information becomes available.

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