January 26, 2006

To Members of the Bowdoin Community:

I am deeply saddened to inform you of the death of Taryn King, a member of the Class of 2007 and a very well-known and greatly admired member of our community. Taryn died earlier today in Galway, Ireland, where she was studying this semester. Taryn was taken ill and was being transported by ambulance to a hospital at the time of her death. The specific nature of her illness has not yet been determined.

Taryn's death is a devastating loss for her family and for Bowdoin College. The oldest of five children, Taryn grew up in Georgetown, Massachusetts, and graduated from the Brooks School in North Andover, Mass. She came to us from a family with strong and enduring connections to Bowdoin: alumni of the College include her great-grandfather, Leopold F. King '22; her grandfather, Peter King '50; her great-uncle Leopold Fiman King '51; another great-uncle, Dr. Denis Wholley King '55; her aunt, Amy Lyons '87; and her uncle, Michael W. King '88.

A dedicated student, Taryn was a psychology major and an accomplished athlete at Bowdoin whose passion extended from athletics to the classroom. One of her psychology professors described Taryn as "an incredibly engaged student who was among the most frequent contributors during classroom discussions — a student who would move discussions in new, highly relevant, and interesting directions." Taryn was also a beloved volunteer at the Bowdoin Children's Center and a musician. She had studied piano for twelve years in an effort to master technique, timing, and hand position. But technical proficiency was only one aspect of her passion for music. As she wrote in her application to Bowdoin, performing with "heartand soul" was equally important to Taryn.

Taryn's heart and soul were never more evident to us than when she took to the field as a one of the most talented field hockey players in Bowdoin history. She was a respected and admired leader of the extraordinary team that thrilled us all this past fall – a team of talented women who took an undefeatedrecord into the national championship tournament in Virginia. She was the 2005 NESCAC Player of the Year and a First-Team All. As a first-year student, Taryn was named the NESCAC Rookie of the Year. She was also a member of the women's lacrosse team. Beyond the awards, Taryn was one of the most exciting student-athletes at the College whose talents and passion for sports were evident to all who watched her compete.

This tragedy affects us all, but none more deeply than Taryn's parents, siblings, and her many, many friends at Bowdoin — people who will need our support and care in the coming days and weeks. In addition to the support we will provide to one another, I remind you that there are many members of our community who are there to help. Members of the Counseling Services staff, the Student Affairs staff, the Residential Life staff, and Athletics are available at any time of day or night by calling 725-3314. Information about funeral arrangements and a campus memorial service for Taryn will be announced as soon as they are finalized.

Our heartfelt concern and sympathies are with the King family as they struggle with the shocking loss of a bright, loving, and talented daughter, sister, and friend. Please join me in keeping them in our thoughts and prayers during this painful time.

Sincerely yours,

Barry Mills