Students reach out to each other after death of freshman
Matthew L. Nehring ’18, a resident of East Campus and a native of Colorado, died Saturday night.
“I have some terrible news to share about one of our students, Matthew Nehring, a freshman on 1W,” housemaster Robert C. Miller ’95 wrote in an email to East Campus residents on Sunday. “Last night, in the Stata Center, Matthew apparently took his own life.”
A dorm meeting was held Sunday afternoon in East Campus with representatives from MIT Mental Health and MIT Student Support Services, as well as chaplains, the East Campus graduate resident tutors, and Chancellor Cynthia A. Barnhart PhD ’88.
“In this moment of tragedy, we extend heartfelt sympathies to Matthew’s family and friends,” President L. Rafael Reif wrote in an email to campus. “I would also like us to take time to focus on one another as a community. There is no greater source of support than the sympathy and kindness of the people we know best.”
Reif and Miller encouraged students to reach out if they needed help or guidance.
Several students had already responded to the news by sending emails to the East Campus community, offering condolences and welcoming their peers into their rooms to pray and discuss issues like stress and depression.
A community gathering was held Tuesday in remembrance of Nehring. Students and faculty filled Lobby 10, some standing on the second floor balconies. The mood seemed reflective as President Reif addressed the gathered crowd. “Today is a time to listen to each other and take care of one another,” he said.
Nehring was a valued member of The Tech’s business department.
“Matt has paid all our bills, ensuring that all our vendors are paid on time, that all our payments are accurately recorded in our accounting system, and that we don’t incur late fees. He was extremely smart, diligent, and kind — always doing an amazing job and really fun to be around,” The Tech’s business manager, Fiona Lam ’17, said.
Nehring was also associated with the Media Lab through his participation in the Media Arts and Science freshman learning and mentoring program. “We mourn the death of freshman Matthew Nehring. A tragic loss for the @MIT and @medialab communities,” the MIT Media Lab tweeted Monday.
Members of the MIT community who feel affected by the death can access MIT student support resources and Mental Health Services at http://together.mit.edu, or via phone at 617-253-2916 during the day and 617-253-4481 during nights and weekends.