Bates student John Durkin dies while on study-abroad program in Rome

Bates College junior John Durkin of Rye Beach, N.H., has died in Rome, where he was studying abroad through a program sponsored by Trinity College of Hartford, Conn.

John Durkin is a member of the Class of 2015.

John Durkin ’15.

John’s family released the following statement today: “It is with much sadness that the Durkin family informs you of the loss of John Nolen Durkin and thanks everyone for their support during the past few days.”

The circumstances of his death have not been released.

“This is a time of deep sadness for our community and for so many people who knew and loved John,” said President Clayton Spencer. “We are profoundly sad and share the tremendous grief of his family.”

John was last seen by friends in the early morning hours of Feb. 20 in the Campo de Fiori section of Rome.

John, 21, was an economics major and Asian studies minor at Bates, where he was a linebacker on the Bates football team.

Margaret Mauer-Fazio, the college’s Betty Doran Stangle Professor of Applied Economics, recalls John’s impressive contributions to her course on China’s economic reforms last fall.

“John made a presentation about the multinational electronics manufacturer Foxconn, criticized for unfair labor practices in recent years. He looked at both sides of the issue, and his presentation was nuanced, balanced and interesting. And that was how all his work was, very strong.” Maurer-Fazio says.

Bates head football coach Mark Harriman said, “The Bates football family is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and teammate John Durkin. John’s commitment to excellence in all phases of his life was inspirational to the other members of the squad and a major factor in the team’s success over the past three years.

“We will remember the fortitude and character that John displayed on a daily basis and attempt to emulate those standards. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family during this difficult time.”

John was one of six current Bates students on the Trinity program, which typically has a total enrollment of 55 students from a variety of U.S. colleges.

Two of John’s siblings attended Bates: Frederick “Ted” Durkin, who graduated in 2011, and Clare Durkin, who graduated in 2012.

Bates students are currently away from campus on winter break. After the college has consulted with the Durkin family, the college will share plans for a gathering in memory of John.

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