Kirkland House Mourns Death of College Senior

Armijo's Death Called Apparent Suicide

A Kirkland House senior was pronounced dead at Cambridge City Hospital yesterday morning. The University said the death appeared to be a suicide.

Dominic J. Armijo '95, a resident of Kirkland House, was found in his room yesterday morning. Police responded to a call at 11:01 a.m., and Cambridge Rescue and several ambulances were also on the scene.

Armijo, of Boulder, Colo., was transferred from Kirkland House to Cambridge City Hospital and pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m.

Police declined to give out any details about the exact cause of death.

Harvard police and the Middlesex District Attorney's office are investigating the incident, University officials said.


Armijo, a government concentrator, was active in the house and in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (Please see obituary, this page).

House residents were officially informed of Armijo's death during a house meeting yesterday with Dean of College L. Fred Jewett '57, Kirkland Masters Cathleen and Donald Pfister, Senior Tutor Garth McCavana, and Dr. Randolph Catlin Jr., head of the Mental Health Service at University Health Services (UHS).

"What we tried to do [in the meeting] was to give some understanding as to why people commit suicide," Catlin said. "Suicide is really devastating to people who might feel like they are to blame. Even knowing that they aren't doesn't make them feel less guilty. There are times people are convinced they want to kill themselves and won't give any indication that they do."

According to students who attended the meeting, Catlin said Armijo had a family history of depression.

"If a person is considering suicide, they should try and share it with someone they feel will understand them, and that person should try to get them to seek professional help, or [the person contemplating suicide] should go directly for professional help," he said.

Catlin encouraged anyone contemplating suicide to call University Health Services urgent care immediately, at 495-5711.

Students in the house and around the College have described themselves as shocked and saddened.

"The mood around here is pretty somber," said a Kirkland sophomore. "It's affecting most of us a lot. The house masters and staff have been very supportive."

"We are concerned about everyone and are trying to be accessible," Donald Pfister said. "It is a terrible thing. The people in the house are taking it very badly."

Approximately 450 people attended a Mass dedicated to Armijo at St. Paul Church late yesterday afternoon. Prayers were offered for Armijo, Kirkland House residents and members of the University.

"We're really grieving," said Jacqueline Lansky, chaplain for undergraduates at the Harvard-Radcliffe Catholic Student Center. "Something of this nature goes to the heart of people's hope."

A University statement said that acting President Albert Carnesale, Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles and Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III had expressed "their sadness and sympathies for the Armijo family."

A Mass will be held for Armijo in the Kirkland House Junior Common Room at 7 p.m. tonight