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The Dartmouth
May 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Sam Gawel ’23 dies at age 21

Gawel, who was studying environmental and earth sciences and anthropology, “felt at home” in New Hampshire.


Updated Sept. 23, 2022 at 3:15 p.m. 

Sam Gawel ’23, a student from Detroit, Michigan, died unexpectedly on campus on Wednesday, interim Dean of the College Scott Brown wrote in an email to the Dartmouth community. 

Gawel died of suicide, according to his mother Leah Gawel, who spoke at a memorial service on Friday.

Gawel graduated from The Jean and Samuel Frankel Jewish Academy of Metropolitan Detroit, according to his Facebook profile. At Dartmouth, he studied environmental and earth sciences and anthropology, and he was a member of Habitat for Humanity and the Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity, according to Brown’s email. Gawel “felt at home” in New Hampshire and the White Mountains and enjoyed hiking, mountain biking, cooking and the Detroit Lions.

“This is an unimaginable loss for all of us, and I offer our deepest sympathy to Sam’s family and friends,” Brown wrote. “...We are here to support you. I urge anyone who would like to speak to a counselor on their own behalf or out of concern for someone else to seek help where you feel most comfortable.”

In an email to the Dartmouth community, College President Phil Hanlon wrote that the Dartmouth flag will be lowered in the coming days in honor of “Sam’s life and contributions to our campus.”

Gawel’s death is the sixth among the Dartmouth community in the past two months, according to past reporting by The Dartmouth.

For students, counseling services are available at (603) 646-9442 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of regular hours, students should select “option 1” after dialing. Students can also reach out to the College chaplain to set up a confidential pastoral counseling session. The Student Wellness Center and Undergraduate Deans Office remain available resources for undergraduate students. 

According to Brown’s email, the Counseling Center will be available in Collis Common Ground until 10 p.m. tonight or at (603) 646-9440. Tomorrow, the Counseling and Tucker centers will be available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Students are also invited to gather in the Collis Center.

This article will be updated as more details become available, and a full obituary will be published in the near future. If you would like to share a memory, please contact