Sad News

To the Brandeis Community:

It is with deep sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Akshay Venkatesh '14. Akshay was found this morning on campus and appears to have taken his own life. I know you join me in extending our sympathies to Akshay’s family and friends. 

We face this loss as a community — no one needs to face it alone. Indeed, because Brandeis is a nurturing and closely knit campus, no one should ever feel alone when handling the inevitable stresses and pressures of life. I encourage students to speak with your CAs, CDCs, OLs, the staff at the Chaplaincy, family and friends, and any other member of the Brandeis family to whom you want to reach out at this time.

There will be an informal community gathering for mutual support at 9 p.m. this evening at Chapels Pond. Father Walter Cuenin and I will lead the community in a brief prayer and a moment of silence. After the gathering, the Luria conference rooms in Sherman/Hassenfeld have been reserved if students wish to gather, along with professional staff, in a safe space to support one another.  

Counseling support will be available throughout the day and until at least 10 p.m. this evening at the Psychological Counseling Center. You can contact the Counseling Center at 781-736-3730, or after hours at the 24-hour referral line at 617-431-4814.

In the days and weeks to come, we will all feel this terrible loss in different ways. Reach out to your friends and support each other — it is at times like this when we truly feel the strength of the Brandeis community.

Yours truly,

Fred Lawrence