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Cabot House Junior Suffocates In Freak Accident at Home

By Peter J. Howe

A Cabot House junior died last month in a freak accident at his New Cansan, Conn, home, the fifth undergraduate to die in less than three months.

Eric H. Strassmann '85, a Whitman Hall Biochemistry concentrator, reportedly slipped and fell while taking a shower on Thursday May 24, rendering himself unconscious, While unconscious, he apparently drowned in a few inches of water.

Strassmann had just returned home after finishing exams and was alone in the house with just his mother. His body was not discovered until Friday morning, Harvard sources said.

Cabot House officials described Strassmann as friendly, outgoing and deeply committed to altruism.

"He was a very serious, dedicated young man with a wonderfully off-beat sense of humor," said Cabot Associate Master Ann C. Wacker.

"I think the thing we remember most about him is interest in helping people," said Hugh M. Flick, a Whitman Hall tutor. "He's the type of person that, if another student had died, he would have been the one other students would have gone to to make sense out of it."

Strassmann had been particularly active in Cambridge's Margaret Fuller House, an organization which offers tutoring for the city's schoolchildren. He had been teaching computer use to seven- to 12 year-olds.

Wacker said Cabot's house committee plans to establish a memorial for Strassmann, although it will not male final plans until this fall.

Three students died in early April: a Dunster House sophomore who had battled a terminal blood disease, a Mather House senior who apparently jumped off the House's tower, and an Adams House sophomore who died of a heart attack.

In late March, another Adams House sophomore fell to his death from the top of the Criminal Courts Building in Manhattan, in another apparent suicide.

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