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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Community Members Remember and Honor Will Stocksdale

The Georgetown University community celebrated the life and memory of William “Will” Stocksdale (SFS ’25), who passed away April 5, at the Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart on April 17. Stocksdale was 20 years old.

Stocksdale grew up in Baltimore and attended Loyola Blakefield, a Catholic prep school in Towson, Md. Stocksdale was the school’s student body president and swam on the school’s swim team.

Stocksdale’s friend Eli Blumenfeld (CAS ’25) remembered his friend as a thoughtful and dedicated individual. 

“He always had a great attention to detail and would oftentimes go the extra mile, just for the sake of being a good friend,” Blumenfeld said at the memorial. “Although I know that Will’s no longer earthly present, we can still try to be friends as well as he was, with as much zeal, with as much loyalty, with as much soul, with as much exuberance as Will carried with him.”

Blumenfeld was Stocksdale’s neighbor in Reynolds Hall and recalled bonding with him over a television show early in their first year.

“Will was one of the most friendly and easy-to-talk-to people I’ve ever met,” Blumenfeld wrote to The Hoya. “One of my first memories with Will was having some drinks and watching Marvel’s ‘What If?’ series.”

“It was really the first night that I can remember having fun at college, and it made me look forward to future experiences not only with Will, but more generally my time here at Georgetown,” Blumenfeld added. 

Courtesy Georgetown SAFE | The Georgetown community celebrated the life of William Stocksdale, a student in the School of Foreign Service who passed April 5.

Lauren Sullivan (CAS ’25), who lived two doors down from Stocksdale last year, said she remembers Stocksdale as one of her first friends on the Hilltop.

“Will was one of the very first people here that I felt comfortable around and that I considered a friend,” Sullivan said at the memorial. “Whenever I think of Will, I think about his thoughtfulness.”

“I remember bonding over small things we had in common, like our love for those Starbucks fall-themed drinks,” Sullivan added. “What I look back on most fondly from the beginning of college is it was the first time that being around people at Georgetown was easy.”

Stocksdale was a global business major. Outside of the classroom, Stocksdale was a mentor for Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization creating friendship, career and mentorship opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and worked as a lifeguard at Yates Field House. 

William Schlickenmaier (SFS ’01, GRD ’20), an adjunct government lecturer who taught Stocksdale this spring in “Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy,” said Stocksdale was a thoughtful and passionate student. 

“He would always leave these challenging, trenchant comments that got down to his ethical core and his desire to get beyond realpolitik and take seriously the fundamentals of US foreign policy,” Schlickenmaier wrote to The Hoya. “I always loved seeing that from him.”

“My last memory of Will was perhaps my favorite,” Schlickenmaier added. “He’d been out sick for a while, and had just come back to in-person class for our last meeting before he passed, that Tuesday. I’d shared how happy I was to have him back and he shared as well how happy he was to be back in class.”

History professor Katherine Benton-Cohen, who taught Stocksdale in an introductory history course last spring, said she remembers Stocksdale as a proactive, empathetic and passionate student.

“He was attentive and thoughtful and kind,” Benton-Cohen wrote to The Hoya. “I can remember coming up the lecture steps to chat with him one on one about class materials, teaching him when I visited his section once, and his decision to go above and beyond in his final paper by expanding on an oral history he did with an Afghan refugee.”

Hannah Levine (GRD ’22), who was Stocksdale’s teaching assistant in Benton-Cohen’s class, also spoke on Stocksdale’s kindness and the insightful final paper he wrote for the class.

“I remember feeling moved by his clear passion and empathy,” Levine wrote in a message to Benton-Cohen that was shared with The Hoya. “I know he will be deeply missed.”

Geography professor and School of Foreign Service (SFS) Vice Dean for Undergraduate Affairs Mark Giordano taught Stocksdale in his SFS introductory course “Map of the Modern World,” and said Stocksdale was a model student.

“I am struggling to know what to say,” Giordano wrote to The Hoya. “The reason I am at Georgetown is students like him. I am so sorry he is gone.”

Stocksdale was a committed member to the Students Advancing Food Equity (SAFE), serving as the organization’s vice president and operations director. In those roles, Stocksdale led collaborations with George Washington University’s food pantry and planned sandwich-making events, according to a tribute from the club’s board.

“Will left SAFE a better organization, Georgetown a better community, and anyone that he interacted with, a better person,” the Instagram tribute read. “We will always remember Will for his genuine kindness and empathy. Not only was he a dedicated member of SAFE, Will was also a son, a dear friend, and loved one to many. Our heart goes out to those who were lucky enough to know and love him.” 

Stocksdale is survived by his parents and his brother.

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About the Contributor
Evie Steele
Evie Steele, Executive Editor
Evie Steele is a sophomore in the SFS from New York, N.Y., studying international politics with minors in international development and Chinese. She has been on TV twice and has been quoted in Deadline once. [email protected]
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