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June 3, 2002To Members of the Colby Community:
I am terribly sad and distressed to inform the Colby community of a tragedy that occurred on Friday, May 31, when Kyawswar Win '05 died following a boating accident on Messalonskee Lake. Kyawswar, who came to Colby from Yangon, Myanmar, drowned after a canoe he was in capsized during a sudden and severe squall late on Friday afternoon. Several other students who were canoeing with him tried to save him but were unsuccessful.
While no one else was physically hurt as a result of this accident, the emotional distress in the wake of such a tragedy is very real, particularly for his family, companions, friends, and mentors. After Kyawswar's family was notified of the terrible loss, a group of students living on campus for summer jobs or research internships met with me and with members of the counseling services and dean of students' staff late Friday night. The College organized an informal service in the chapel Saturday afternoon for students and other members of the community to talk and to remember their friend and classmate.
Counseling and support are available to all members of the Colby community affected by the tragedy. Plans for a more formal celebration of Kyawswar's life and his contributions to Colby will be announced as those plans take shape. Kyawswar was a math and physics double major and he was on campus to pursue summer research with faculty members in the physics department.
I speak for the entire community in expressing our deep concern and compassion for Kyawswar's family and friends in this time of mourning.