Nathan G. Bihlmaier, a Harvard Business School student known by his friends for his strong principles, family values, and thoughtful approach to life, was found dead on Tuesday.
Bihlmaier, who was set to graduate on Thursday, went missing Saturday night after being asked to leave a pub in Portland, Maine. Police discovered his body Tuesday in Portland Harbor after conducting a search near the pier where he had last been seen. There was no evidence of foul play, according to Portland Police Department Lieutenant Gary Rogers.
“He was a great guy,” said Helen Y. Weng ’08, a classmate of Bihlmaier’s at the Business School.
Bihlmaier was passionate about technology and health care, friends said. After graduating from the University of Kansas in 2003, Bihlmaier worked for the Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, Chicago, Denver, and Boston. He later worked as a summer associate for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
“This is a very sad day for all of us,” the Business School said in a statement. “There is a tremendous sense of community here, of camaraderie among students, faculty, and staff. We are all in a state of shock and grief, and our hearts and prayers go out to Nate’s family at this terrible time. This is a tragic loss, and we are very sad.”
Beyond his interests in health care, Bihlmaier was an avid skier.
“Skiing was his passion,” said classmate Jad S. Elias.
Andrew J. Rosenthal, Bihlmaier’s close friend and fellow Business School student, often went on ski vacations with Bihlmaier. He recalled their last trip together, in February at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colo. On the trip, Bihlmaier managed to convince Rosenthal to join him in hiking further up the mountain and skiing down a particularly “steep and very narrow run” known as a chute.
“Nate came down it and skied beautifully,” Rosenthal said. “I did not do as well,” he added, laughing.
Bihlmaier was also known for his deep devotion to his family, especially his wife, Nancy Ho Bihlmaier, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.
“He was more of a family man than most other people on campus,” Elias said.
According to Rosenthal, Bihlmaier was one of the Business School students who often brought their spouses to class. When Bihlmaier introduced his wife to his classmates, the couple’s strong bond was evident. “When Nate would bring Nancy to class, his introductions for her made it so obvious how he felt about her,” said Rosenthal. “Nancy is very much part of our section community.”
Bihlmaier was so excited to become a father that he started a blog on fatherhood, said Harvard Business School spokesperson Brian Kenny.
Bihlmaier’s wife could not be reached for comment.
Most of all, friends and classmates said they would miss Bihlmaier’s thoughtfulness and insight in their conversations.