January 24, 2001

C.U. Employee Found Dead

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The University lost staff member Adam Powers yesterday when the 29-year-old North Carolina native was found dead by Cornell Police and Cornell Environmental Health and Safety.

Powers’ body was discovered at 8:36 a.m. yesterday at the base of Fall Creek gorge, west of Triphammer Bridge.

As a desktop support specialist, “he worked with everyone,” said Peggy Beach, associate director of Campus Life. Powers, a University of Chicago graduate, had been working for Campus Life for almost four years.

“He was well-liked and respected,” Beach said.

The Ithaca Fire Department, Cornell Police and Ithaca Police recovered the body from the gorge approximately an hour and a half after the discovery, and the body was then transported to Cayuga Medical Center.

According to a close college friend, Powers sent a “‘goodbye world’ sort of message” to former University of Chicago classmates and Cornell colleagues in which he included remarks such as, “Thanks, I wish you all peace and love.”

Concerned co-workers contacted Cornell Police at approximately 11 p.m. Monday regarding Powers’ disappearance. Subsequently, Cornell and Ithaca Police Departments began investigating Powers’ whereabouts.

Since the announcement of Powers’ death, the University has stressed that resources are available to help cope with the tragedy.

The University will continue to provide support, such as the Employee Assistance Program, to grieving staff members, according to Mary G. Opperman, vice president of human resources.

“EAP offers support to employees in many different ways and different situations,” Beach explained.

“It has been a very difficult day and the University wants to proceed with respect and appropriateness,” she added.

Archived article by Tanvi Chheda