January 21, 2003

Ex-Student Passes Away

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Former student Samad Taraz ’03 passed away in his sleep during winter break on Dec. 29. Many peers remember Taraz, who last attended the University in fall 2001, as being a good friend.

“He was a really nice guy and had a nice word for everybody,” Nick Thorndike ’03 said. “He was always willing to try new things.”

According to Taraz’s mother, Jenniser Taraz, the cause of her son’s death is unknown although she speculates that there could have been a fatal reaction to antibiotics that he was taking. The family still awaits autopsy results.

A native of New Canaan, CT, Taraz played on the soccer team and wrestled in high school. Thorndike, who met Taraz in sixth grade and attended high school with him, characterized him as a “really funny guy.”

Matt Strohl ’03 said that Taraz once came to a test in a scuba suit and often good-heartedly talked to strangers. Strohl met Taraz his freshman year.

“Taraz was an absolute character,” Strohl said. “He was always joking with people. He’s like no one I have ever met.”

According to Thorndike, Taraz first started in the College of Engineering, and later switched to the College of Arts and Sciences. His mother is unclear why her son stopped attending the University.

A small funeral took place on Jan. 2 in New Canaan. Plans for a campus reception are yet to be determined according to Susan H. Murphy ’73, vice president for student and academic services.

“We will certainly try to determine if there were classmates that were close to him,” Murphy said. “We were sad to have learned that [he died].”

According to his friends, there is a significant void left by Taraz’s death. Thorndike said that it will “noticeably be less fun.”

“He’ll be greatly missed by his four sisters and another brother,” Jenniser said.

His brother, Graham Taraz ’05, is currently a student in the School of Hotel Administration.

Archived article by Brian Tsao