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Pfoho Resident Dies after Jumping from an Off-Campus Building Early Sunday Morning

By Meg P. Bernhard and Theodore R. Delwiche, Crimson Staff Writers

UPDATED: April 7, 2014, at 2:23 p.m.

Pforzheimer House resident Andrew Sun ’16 died at about 4 a.m. Monday morning at Massachusetts General Hospital, a little over 24 hours after he jumped from a building in downtown Boston.

Pforzheimer Co-House Masters Anne Harrington ’82 and John R. Durant broke the news of Sun’s death in an email to the House community shortly before 8 a.m. Monday morning.

In an interview with The Crimson shortly after, Harrington said that, Very sadly, from all we understand at this point, this was not an accident.”

Sun underwent surgery Sunday morning at the hospital for “extremely serious injuries” caused by the fall,  College spokesperson Colin Manning said Sunday. By Sunday night, Sun was on life support and was not expected to recover, according to an email sent shortly after 8 p.m Sunday by Pforzheimer House acting Resident Dean Gabriel A. Katsh '04 to House tutors.

“I’m writing with the sad news that Andrew’s doctors said his injuries are too severe for him to recover. He is on life support but likely only has a matter of hours left,” Katsh wrote in his email.

On Monday morning, that prediction proved to be true. According to the email from Harrington and Durant to the Pforzheimer House list, Sun’s father, mother, and aunt were present at the hospital when he died.

“We are all of us grieving today,” the co-masters wrote in their email.

Harrington told The Crimson that she was woken up 1:30 a.m. Sunday by a phone call from Katsh with the news and held an emergency meeting for Pforzheimer tutors and contacted Sun’s blockmates. Harrington visited Sun in the hospital later that day, and said about 25 students also went to see him.

“People kept coming and coming, and they went in tears,” Harrington said. “I was so moved and proud by the maturity they shared in their grief.”

Officer Rachel McGuire, a spokesperson for the Boston Police Department, confirmed that the incident occurred at 240 Atlantic Ave. near the New England Aquarium in the Seaport District of Boston, but said the department would not disclose further information.

Sun, an Economics concentrator from New Jersey, was a member of Harvard College Faith in Action, according to group member Ruby S. Almanza ’16. He was also an inactive member of the Harvard Financial Analysts Club, according to club president Kevin A. Sun ’15, who is of no relation.

On his LinkedIn profile, Sun listed that he was an intern at Xela Capital LLC, a Seattle-based investment planning firm, as well as a former research intern at Columbia University.

In lieu of Pfoho’s planned Open House Sunday evening, Harrington and Durant  invited community members to  their residence at 9 p.m. to share their feelings and and “gather strength from each other,” Harrington wrote. Echoing Harrington, Katsh wrote in another email to the House list that students should not hesitate to seek out resources and support from House tutors, as well as other students.

Additionally, Harvard College Faith in Action held a prayer and worship event open to all members of the community in room P14 of the Student Organization Center at Hilles at 7 p.m Sunday.

“It was really powerful,” Shaun Y.S. Lim ’15, president of HCFA, said of the prayer event.  “It was a great show of support for each other and also for Andy. It’s a tough time for the community.”

Harrington and Durant have opened their residence today once again to all community members who wish to talk. According to their email, they will also host another gathering in their residence for the community to share feelings and memories of Sun.

At around 9:30 a.m. Monday, Interim Dean of the College Donald H. Pfister sent an email to the Harvard community about Sun’s death.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Andrew's family, friends and all of Pforzheimer. This is a tragic loss for our entire community,” Pfister wrote.

—Check for updates.

Staff writers Amna H. Hashmi and Daniel R. Levine contributed to the reporting of this story.

—Staff writer Meg P. Bernhard can be reached at Follow her on twitter @Meg_Bernhard.

—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at Follow him on twitter @trdelwic.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: April 7, 2014

An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of Shaun Y.S. Lim ’15.

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