2006_05_ngmissingposter.jpgFamily members identified a body found in the East River as Richard Ng, a Columbia senior who had been missing in the weeks leading up to graduation. The autopsy was inconclusive, but police believe Ng commited suicide over his grades. Newsday reports that friends told police that "Ng had done poorly in at least one class and would not have been able to graduate Wednesday on time with the rest of his class." It's also believed that Ng commited suicide by jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, given where his body was found and that his computer showed he researched the bridge. It's such a shame that Ng was so despondent, perhaps about his school work, perhaps about other things, that he felt he needed to take his life. We hope that Columbia and other schools continue take the time to work with students who may be grappling with all sorts of stress and make sure they know what resources are open to them.

During commencement ceremonies yesterday, Columbia University chaplain Jewelnel Davis said, "As we begin this ceremony, Richard Ng and the Ng family are in our thoughts and prayers." Columbia president Lee Bollinger's statement read, "Our hearts and our prayers go out to the Ng family at this difficult moment. For students and their parents, this commencement week should be a time of joy and promise. That it should be a time of sadness and loss for Richard's family and friends is especially heartbreaking. It is certainly a loss for the entire university community and we honor his memory."