March 31, 2024 | Bowdoin News

K Zhan '25

To the campus community,

I write with the very sad and upsetting news that our student Qingyang Zhan ’25—known as K—died overnight off campus. We do not yet know the cause of death, which is under investigation.

K was born in Shanghai, China, and has been living in the US since 2019. A graduate of the Athenian School in Danville, California, she also studied at Oxnard College in Oxnard, California, before matriculating at Bowdoin in the fall of 2021. Faculty members describe K as a bright and engaging presence, and many will remember her warmth and kindness. Her academic advisor, Jean Yarbrough—the Gary M. Pendy Sr. Professor of Social Sciences—described K as a student who was deeply interested in the most important theological and philosophical questions.

K helped found Bowdoin’s Chinese Students Association and was also active in the Asian Student Association. A government and legal studies and Asian studies double major, she was a learning assistant for Asian Studies in the Baldwin Center for Teaching and Learning and a musician who played the piano and guitar as part of the Bowdoin Concert Band.

K’s death is a devastating tragedy for her parents, her brother, other loved ones, and also for her friends, classmates, and our entire Bowdoin community. This news is very difficult to process, especially since we do not yet know the circumstances of K’s death. Please take care of yourselves and of others and take advantage of the opportunities to come together.

We will hold space in Main Lounge of Moulton Union today, Sunday, March 31, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Counseling and student affairs staff will be present. Counseling will have extended hours for students this week through Thursday (9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.). Additionally, students may reach out to Telus Health Student Support for telehealth counseling support. Wellspace@Work is available to faculty and staff seeking support.

We will share information about a campus memorial service as soon as we can. Like so many of you, I am heartbroken and shocked. 

There really are no adequate words to convey how devastating this loss is for our community. I know you join me in extending heartfelt condolences to K’s family.