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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.



80 Responses to “Bates student John Durkin dies while on study-abroad program in Rome”

  1. Barbara B says:

    As the parent of a Bates grad (2012) who studied abroad and knew John’s siblings I send my sympathy to the Durkin family. Please know that many of us are thinking about you with love and support.

  2. Jim Wilentz P '16 says:

    Our hearts go out to the Durkin family. As Bates parents and parents of a student who spent part of high school abroad as well, we feel terribly sad at this heartbreaking news.

  3. Aubrey C. Gail says:

    Dearest Durkin Family,

    My heart breaks for the loss of your son.

    Father of Colby Gail.

    Aubrey C. Gail

  4. Marge McCormick Davis '76 says:

    I’m one of the countless Batesies who studied abroad (JYA England 1974-75). As unthinkably tragic as its ending was, I hope John’s family takes some comfort in knowing that his time abroad surely gave him moments of great joy, excitement and beauty.

  5. Sharon and Thom Parrino (Matthew '17) says:

    So so sad to hear of this tragedy. To the entire Durkin Family, we hope that in this overwhelming time of need that all your memories of John will fill your hearts. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Sharon and Thom Parrino (Matthew ’17)

  6. Patrick says:

    My family joins me in sending our most heartfelt condolences to Durkin’s family.
    RIP, John.

  7. Marie says:

    As a parent of a University of New Hampshire studying abroad in Scotland, my prayers are with the family, friends and Bates Community.

  8. leathersich family says:

    It is with great sadness that we learn of your loss. To all the best to all the Durkin family. Our prayers are with you.

  9. Judy H says:

    To the family and friends of John, please know that John will never be forgotten,even by those who didn’t know him. May your fond memories of him give you comfort in the difficult days ahead.

  10. Dave & Joy Starr - p Kyle '13 says:

    Joy & I wish to express our sorrow to the entire Durkin Family at this time of great loss. You all are in our prayers and know that the world is a lesser place without John.
    Love, The Starr Family

  11. Kristin Martini Baldassari/Harding. says:

    I learned of news of John Nolen Durkin last evening, from my dearest friend and college graduate classmate of Rider University, Class of 92′ Susan Harriman, last evening. John Durkin’s Coach Harriman’s, wife.
    I have carried silent, heart felt prayers and thoughts for John Durkin and his entire family and Coach Harriman and his wife Susan and the Entire Bates Community throughout this day. I have a Daughter and I have a Son in College. My father came to this country from Rome, Italy. Coach Harriman and the entire Bates College Family are in my heart. I will continue to pray for the entire Bate’s College Community. For John’s Durkin and his Entire Family, in the days and the weeks and the months to come.
    God is love. Love is Light. Light will prevail.
    My Sincerest Condolences to John Durkin’s Mother, John Durkin’s Father, John Durkin’s Brothers. John Durkin’s Sisters. To John Durkin’s Entire Family. I wish you peace. I wish you comfort. I wish you solace through this most difficult time of your live’s, during these very moments. My prayers are with you.

    Through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  12. Robin Craggs says:

    On behalf of the International Programs Office at Occidental College, we join with you all in grief and sadness for John and the Durkin family.

  13. Keller Young says:

    My heart goes out to the Durkin family. Very sad news.

  14. The Riskind Family (Noah, '16) says:

    From the moment we heard that John was missing, we never stopped praying and hoping for the best. We continue sending our prayers to the Durkin Family and the Bates Community. You will forever be in our hearts….Forever!

  15. Nancy and Michael McManus says:

    Our hope is that the Durkin family and Bates community feel the love and prayers that are being lifted up. Our son, Doran (’16) spoke very highly of John when this news broke.

  16. Edward Downs says:

    The Downs family offers its thoughts and prayers for John and The Durkin Family. All of the South Boston Churches had a special payer for John. Our hearts are hurting for the Durkin family.

    Eddie and Maureen Downs p of Teddy Downs 13

  17. Edward Downs P Teddy 13 says:

    Our thoughts and Prayers are with the Durkin Family, Our hearts are torn. All of the South Boston Churches had John and the Durkin’s in their prayers. God bless you all

  18. Mallory Gazecki says:

    The Gazecki Family (Sam ’16) sends our deepest heartfelt sympathy to the Durkin Family and the Bates community. Such a tragic and devastating loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  19. Donna Mancini says:

    The members of the Haverford College community join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to all members of the Durkin family and to our friends and colleagues at
    Bates and Trinity. Such a tragic loss….

    With deepest sympathy,
    Donna Mancini,
    Dean of Global Affairs

  20. Dorothy and Seth Hemming P '15 says:

    Such sad news, our heartfelt thoughts are with the Durkin family and the enitire Bates community.

  21. Uta Hershey says:

    As parents of a current Bates student as well as of a recent Trinity graduate now working and living in China, we send out our heart felt thoughts to the Durkin Family.

  22. Juan and Silvia Hernandez (parents of Daniel '17) says:

    To the Durkin family:

    We are very saddened by the news. Our prayers are with you.

    God bless~

  23. The Philpott Family says:

    The Philpott Family (son Adam `15) wishes to send our most heartfelt sympathies to the Durkin Family and the whole Bates Community. Although there are no words to truly express our sadness we can only pray that knowing you are in the thoughts and prayers of so many will provide you with some comfort. Wishing you all much strength to get through this difficult time.

  24. John Rossi, '88 says:

    As Sharon Charde mentions above, this is a very sad echo that brings back so many feelings that are never very far below the surface. Geoff was my dear friend and roommate in Rome, but I cannot claim to understand what the Charde family then – or the Durkin family now are going through. My heart and condolences go out to the Durkin family. Please let us know if we can be of support in any way.

  25. Valerie Buchanan Barbour says:

    I was deeply saddened to hear about the loss of John Durkin. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

  26. Legg Family says:

    Please know that our thoughts are with your family for such a sad and tragic loss. I hope you find some comfort in memories of John and the joy he brought into your lives during his time with you.
    Legg Family, Meredith ’11

  27. Lisa Montes de Oca says:

    I send my deepest condolences to the Durkin family, all John’s friends and the Bates Bobats football team (extended family at Bates). This is devastating news. My son whom played with John Durkin for the first time this season told me that he was an inspiration to so many. May God give everyone who knew and loved John the strength to get thru this terrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone.

  28. Susan Khumalo says:

    As a parent of a current Bates student who will soon be going on study abroad, and as a mother I’m saddened by the loss of your son.I started praying and crying from the time I heard he was missing fearing for the worst. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  29. Lisa Buchert says:

    We< re not part of the Bates Community but have a 23 year old son and are terribly saddened of your sons loss !

  30. Michelle Philpott says:

    The Philpott Family (son Adam `15) wishes to send it’s deepest sympathies to the Durkin Family and the entire Bates Community. Since we first heard the news of John missing, you have all been a constant in our minds. There are just no words to truly express our sadness. We will continue to keep you all in our thoughts and close in our hearts, hoping that it provides you all some comfort. We pray that God gives you strength to get through the difficult days ahead. God bless you all!!

  31. Amy Dykstra says:

    This is heartbreaking. I am so sorry. Sending thoughts of peace, love, and comfort to the Durkin family and Bates community.

    Amy Dykstra ’89 (Trinity Rome ’88)

  32. Gretchen Ziegler '64 says:

    We, too, lost a classmate during her Junior Year Abroad (the first year that Bates had the JYA Program). As we get ready for our 50th Reunion this June, we still remember Carol and her lost potential. Our hearts and prayers are with his birth family and his Bates family. We must never forget.

  33. Blair Van Brunt says:

    Brad and Blair Van Brunt are sending love and healing prayers to the Durkins.
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  34. Todd Zukowski '90 P'18 says:

    Our sincerest condolences go out to the Durkin family. John was in our thoughts and prayers from the moment we learned of this story. Our hearts are heavy for your loss.
    Todd Zukowski 1990

  35. Vanessa Pino Lockel '98 says:

    No right words to say. The family is in our prayers.

  36. Liz Wiesen, SJC says:

    On behalf of Saint Joseph’s college Counseling Center, I offer my sincere sympathy to the Durkin family and John’s Bates family.

  37. David and Peggy Laude says:

    As parents of a recent Bates Grad, our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family and the Bates Community during this most difficult time.

  38. Chris Briggs-Hale says:

    The Briggs-Hale Family (Catherine and Chris ’88) send our most heartfelt condolences to this beautiful family.

  39. brenda snyder '56 says:

    Although my only connection to the Durkin family’s tragic news is through the Bates family, my heart aches for all. Please know that you are surrounded by love.
    Brenda Snyder ’56

  40. Christian Bardin says:

    The Bardin family,
    God bless John and the Durkin family.

  41. Paolo e Cristiana Bigagli says:

    we are very saddened by the news and are pleased to extend to the Durkin family our deepest condolences.

    Paolo e Cristiana Bigagli

  42. Sue Megroz Rosenzweig '82 says:

    My heart aches for John’s family and friends. Wishing you peace and comfort in this terrible time.

  43. Anne Levy, parent '14 says:

    The men’s track and field team had John in their hearts and thoughts during the New England Division III championships at MIT yesterday. All my condolences as a mother go out to John’s parents and family.

  44. Tina Engberg says:

    We are so very sorry for your family’s loss. Our hearts are heavy.

    Tina (’90) and Kaj (’91) Engberg

  45. Kronemeyer Family says:

    We send our most heartfelt sympathy to John’s parents, family and friends during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  46. Alex & Susan Ursprung, both '73 says:

    Our hearts go out to the Durkin family and the Bates community that enjoyed and nurtured this young man. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

  47. GLadlyn Green says:

    My son ’15 attends Bates College and is currently on study abroad as well. I grieve deeply for the family and friends of John Durkin who I know are trying to make sense of this horrific tragedy. On behalf of my son and myself, I extend my sincerest condolences to the entire circle of family and friends and the Bates community as well. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  48. Steve Shea '93 says:

    There was a moment of silence before the NESCAC basketball playoff games at Bowdoin today. So sad to hear. Our hearts go out to the Durkin family.

  49. Stuart Lord says:

    My John rest is peace and may the family live with the joy he brought to each and everyone of them!

  50. Mo Butler (parent of DeAundre '17) says:

    I am extremely saddened by this news. My prayers are with the Durkin family and Bates College.

    God bless~

  51. The Reyes Family says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family. God bless you.

  52. The Farrington family says:

    Sending our love and prayers to the Durkin family. The greater Bates community shares in your grief.

  53. Ramirez Family says:

    Our most sincere condolences.may The Lord keep the family strong.God bless and your family is in our prayers

  54. David Rabin says:

    As a parent of a Bates student who just left for her six months abroad in Chile today, my heart grieves for the family. Life is so precious and precarious at the same time; one never knows what to expect happiness or grief; the emotions are cut from the same cloth. Hearing that our child arrived safely to her program all I can say is what a true relief! Our family grieves for your loss!

    David Rabin (Julia’s Dad)
    Portland, OR

  55. Rev. Lissa Bradford says:

    Heartbreaking. Sending condolences and prayers to the Durkin family and the entire Bates community.

  56. Jeffrey Kronemeyer says:

    I am the parent of a Bates 2014 student and I am extremely saddened after hearing this very unexpected news.
    I extend my deepest sympathies to his parents, family and friends and all who knew him and loved him. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  57. Christine Cochran says:

    Deepest Condolences. Our family will be praying for yours. <3

  58. mike nolan '69 says:

    What a terrible loss. You are in my prayers

  59. Roberto M. says:

    My daughter a junior at The Catholic University of America is there now studying abroad on the Saint John’s Campus in Rome. We live in a terrible word where incidents like this are common. My the Lord give you the strength to go on and heal. I will always remember this fine young man as a leader even though his life was cut short.

  60. Marion E. says:

    As a parent, I cannot imagine such tragedy. My heart and thoughts are with the Durkin family, as well as John’s friends at Bates. Love and light to you all.

  61. Jeffrey Kronemeyer says:

    As a parent of a Bates 2014 student, my heart is quite saddened after being informed
    of this very tragic news.
    I extend my deepest sympathies to John’s parents, siblings, family, friends and all
    who knew him and loved him.
    My thoughts and all my prayers are with you.

  62. Jeffrey Kronemeyer says:

    I am a parent and the father of Olivia Kronemeyer – Bates 2014
    My heart is ailing after being informed of this incredibly sad news.
    I extend my most sincere condolences to John’s parents, siblings, friends and all
    who knew him and loved him.
    My thoughts and all my prayers are with all of you.

  63. Claire Beers says:

    I am deeply saddened to hear of this loss. My thoughts are with the Durkin family and the Bates community.

    Claire Beers
    Class of 2010

  64. Rose Woods says:

    My family and I are deeply sadden by this horrifying news. Our condolences, love and prayers are with John’s family.

  65. The Pantazis Family says:

    Our deepest condolences to the Durkin family.

  66. Kellie Thibodeau ' 87 and Peter Senghas '86 says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family and all those touched by this loss. Peace.

  67. Bill & Sarah Harrison says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family. We grieve with you.
    Bill & Sarah, Bates parents

  68. Dana dresser says:

    As a parent and as parents of a current Bates student we are so saddened by the loss of your son. We stand with you and beside you during this time of grief. If we can help in any way please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

  69. Michael Wilson '73 P '02 '06 '08 says:

    Our son Zach ’08 was on the Rome Temple program and couldn’t imagine receiving such devastating news. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family.

  70. Kate Wray says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you! The Wray family

  71. The Patel Family says:

    Our hearts are breaking for the Durkin family and all those who knew and loved John. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

  72. Porter Family says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family.

  73. Stephanie Peck says:

    Miles away yet still so connected to Bates, I was immediately and deeply concerned about the news of a missing student, as though it were a member of extended family. And now to learn of this tragic outcome makes me so very sad. My thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to the Durkin family, to John’s friends, and to the Bates community for the loss of one of own. – Stephanie Weiss Peck ’82, San Diego, California.

  74. Jill T K says:

    As parents of a child who attended that same Rome program, our prayers are with the Durkin Family. Bates is a true community and I know every member of it will grieve this terrible loss.

  75. Kathleen Kastrinelis says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family as well as their friends and the Bates Community.

    Love to all,
    Kathy and Mike Kastrinelis (class of ’81 & ’82)

  76. Sharon Charde says:

    Our son, Geoffrey Charde, Bates’88 died while on the Trinity Rome program in 1987. it is a horrifying coincidence to get this news; it goes without saying that our hearts go out to the Durkin family on this terrible terrible day. Please let them know that we are there for them in any way we can be. Sharon and John Charde

    • Jean Gudaitis Tarricone says:

      Mrs. Charde–

      Just wanted to let you know that when I heard this news, I immediately thought of Geoff. I was a Junior Advisor in his freshman dorm (Smith North), and came to know him fairly well. I had already graduated when he passed away, but was devastated to hear the news. He is in the hearts and minds of the Bates community more than you would believe.

      Also, I extend my deepest condolences to the Durkin family and entire Bates community.

      Jean Gudaitis Tarricone, ’86

  77. Fabio Periera '08 says:

    May John rest peacefully and grace be with the Durkin family in their hour of need.

  78. Shari Leipzig says:

    My family joins me in sending our most heartfelt condolences to John’s siblings and parents.

  79. Bill K. Jack '08 says:

    This is terribly sad news indeed. My thoughts are with the Durkin family. -Bill K. Jack ’08

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