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To the W&M community

Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler sent the following message to the campus community on July 15, 2015. - Ed.

Dear William & Mary Community,

I write this evening with very sad news about a member of our community. The university recently learned about the death of one of our students, Richard Alec Merski. Through communications with Alec’s family, we understand that he died unexpectedly on Friday, July 10, 2015. We have been working closely with his parents since learning of Alec’s death, respecting their wishes for privacy over the last few days. Though the university does not have additional information at this time, including details about memorial or funeral arrangements, such information will be shared as it becomes available.

A rising sophomore, Alec began the summer at home in Vienna, Virginia, where he was a 2014 graduate of Madison High School. Though he had yet to declare a major, he was enrolled in summer courses offered by the William & Mary DC Program. While at the College, Alec developed close friendships, especially with his fraternity brothers in Kappa Sigma.

Since learning of Alec’s death, members of the Dean of Students Office staff have been reaching out – both to those in the DC Program Office and here in Williamsburg – and offering assistance to those who were closest to him. Though many members of our community are away from campus for the summer, please know that the Counseling Center and the Dean of Students Office are open and available for those who may need support.

A student death is a tragedy felt deeply by every member of our extended W&M community. This is heartbreaking news. Please join me in extending our deepest sympathy to Alec’s family and friends.


Ginger Ambler