Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Memorial Held for Subczynksi

The death of a Georgetown sophomore who was found on the George Washington Memorial Parkway last month has been classified as a suicide by the Northern Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office.

The student, 19-year-old Michal Subczynski, was an International Politics major in the School of Foreign Service.

“This is sad and difficult news and our thoughts and prayers continue to go out with Michal’s parents and friends at this time,” said Julie Green Bataille, assistant vice president for communications.

Last week over 50 students and faculty gathered in Riggs Library for a ceremony remembering Subczynski, whose body was found by a driver under the Key Bridge in the early morning hours of April 26. The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that he died of multiple blunt injuries to his head, torso and extremities.

A John Carroll Scholar, Subczynski was an academic star in the SFS. He was a teaching assistant for the Carroll Forum, an introductory course for freshmen, and served on the editorial board for Mentis Vita, the John Carroll program’s academic journal. He was also a member of the International Relations Club.

At last week’s ceremony, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson read a letter from his parents and older sister calling Subczynski’s time at Georgetown “the happiest time of his life.”

Four students and three professors also shared their thoughts – remembering him as extremely intelligent but equally humble.

“It was reassuring to have someone in the classroom with such a calm spirit of truthful inquiry,” said Ariel Roshwald, Subczynski’s history professor.

French Professor Ann-Marie Munzberg remembered him much the same way, recalling his intense interest in the cultural differences between France and America.

“Sometimes when I didn’t know something [in class] I would turn to Michal and he would know it,” she said.

Subczynski, who spoke French in addition to Russian and Polish, was preparing to spend next year in Paris studying at the prestigious Ecole des Sciences Politiques.

Associate Professor Howard Spendelow, who taught Subczynski in Chinese History, remembered him as “a somewhat quiet [student] who always sat front and center in class.”

Thomas Parillo (SFS ’06), who met Subczynski during their freshman year pro-seminar and roomed with him last year in Darnall Hall, spoke about his friendly nature.

“Unlike most people at Georgetown who ignore you after meeting you four or five times, he always kept his head up, smiled and said hello,” he said.

Subczynski, who spoke seven languages and earned a perfect ACT score, always dreamed of attending Georgetown, his parents said in a letter to the university.

Subczynski graduated from Wauwatosa East High School in Wisconsin where he was member of the Model United Nations. It was there that he developed an interest in International Relations but it was at Georgetown that his dream of becoming a diplomat crystallized.

The son of Polish-born parents, Subczynski grew up in Poland but was an American citizen. His father, Witold Subczynski, is an associate professor of biophysics in Wisconsin and his mother is a physicist.

Concerned students can contact University Counseling and Psychiatric Services at 202.687.6985. University Hospital Emergency Room staff are available 24 hours a day at 202.444.2119.

Clergy members can be reached through Campus Ministry at 202.687.1395 and off-hours at 202.668.3195.

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