A college student from Bayside, Queens died on Saturday afternoon after falling down an embankment at his college outside of Philadelphia.

Anthony Chiarenza, a sophomore at Swarthmore College had been in Crum Woods, "part of a wooded, rocky section at the back of the school's main campus," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, when he fell about 45 feet off a cliff.

Police believe he was alone during the apparently accidental fall. Local residents found him and called authorities.

The school's new president, Val Smith, issued the following letter to students:

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

With profound sadness I write to share the tragic news that Anthony Chiarenza '18, from Bayside, N.Y., died this afternoon in Crum Woods, after an apparent fall. Anthony was found unresponsive by local residents who called 911. Police and authorities responded and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. His family has been notified, and we have contacted as many of his close friends and faculty members as possible. Please keep the Chiarenza family and their friends in your heart, thoughts, and prayers.

There's no easy way to share this news, and I know that receiving it via email can make it even more difficult. I encourage you to seek the comfort and support of your friends and colleagues. The Dean's office will be available in the Admissions Commons tonight to offer support. CAPS support is also available for students who may want individual counseling (610-328-7768).Tomorrow, CAPS will hold open hours from Noon to 3 p.m.

Please look out for one another during this very sad time and remain alert to your friends' and students' needs.


Val Smith

The school paper, The Daily Gazette, reports, "Although he had not officially declared a major yet, [Chiarenza] was planning to major in Chemistry and minor in Linguistics."

Crum Woods is a popular spot for hiking and is maintained by the school's Scott Arboretum, which says (PDF), "The Crum Woods of Swarthmore College is one of the last remaining forested areas in Delaware County, Pa. With roughly 3.5 miles of walking trails extending over more than two hundred acres of land, the Crum Woods is significant not only for its large area and biodiversity, but also for the opportunities it offers for learning and recreation. The woods are used as a classroom and laboratory by the College, and provide recreational opportunities for all, including the broader community. Visitors are encouraged to wander the trails, observe the flora and fauna, and otherwise explore, contemplate, and enjoy the woods."