Josh Balara ’24 dies at age 21

Balara, who played as an offensive lineman on the Dartmouth football team, was “gentle, quiet and thoughtful with a subtle sense of humor and a love of Legos.”

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 3/18/23 9:02pm

by Kristin Chapman / The Dartmouth

Josh Balara ’24, a student from Shavertown, Pennsylvania, died on March 16 after an illness, Dean of the College Scott Brown wrote in an email to the Dartmouth community. 

Balara was diagnosed with adrenal cancer in July, according to a fundraiser launched on his behalf. He was surrounded by family and loved ones when he passed, Brown wrote.

At Dartmouth, Balara played as an offensive lineman on the Dartmouth football team and was a member of the Gamma Delta Chi fraternity, according to the Dartmouth Sports website and Brown’s email. On Balara's Dartmouth football roster page, he wrote that he attended camp at the College before his senior year of high school, played the saxophone and had a “keen interest in technology.”

“He was known as gentle, quiet and thoughtful with a subtle sense of humor and a love of Legos,” Brown wrote. “Josh loved Dartmouth football, and his coach described him as committed, unselfish and dedicated to his team, teammates and the program.”

Balara graduated from the Dallas High School in Pennsylvania, where he played both lacrosse and football, Brown wrote. According to The Dallas Post, Balara was a starting lineman on his high school’s football team, which played for the 2019 PIAA Class 4A state championship. During his senior year, he was also selected for the Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 4A all-state team, according to the article.

For students, counseling services are available at (603) 646-9442 at all hours and through the Department of Safety and Security at (603) 646-4000 for immediate assistance. Students can  call UHelp — a service of UWill, the College’s free teletherapy provider — at (833) 646-1526. 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, additional support services will be available when students return to campus next week.

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

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