In Memory: Ravi Thackurdeen ’14

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The College community gathered last night to honor Ravi Thackurdeen ’14, who passed away this weekend after being reported missing in the Pacific waters off Costa Rica, where he was studying abroad.

President Chopp spoke in Thackurdeen’s honor, then Professor of Spanish Aurora Camacho de Schmidt read a poem she wrote for the vigil. Cecily Bumbray ’12 sang “Amazing Grace” as a flame made its way around the circle of friends and other members of the community gathered in front of Parrish Hall.

As they stood, candles lit, they were asked by Interfaith Advisor Joyce Thompkins to come up and say a few words about their friend and classmate. Dean of Students Liz Braun shared that she was in contact with the Thackurdeen family, including brother Sean Thackurdeen ’11, who are currently in Costa Rica. She said the family hoped to see pictures of the vigil on Ravi Thackurdeen’s Facebook.

Thackurdeen, a 2012 Rubins Scholar, was interested in public health, preventative medicine and ethnomedicine. While at Swarthmore, he worked the Fire and Protective Association and was a member ofthe Pre-Med Society, Pemón Health and the Global Health Forum. He also tutored Chester students in math, science and English through Chester Eastside Ministries. A chemistry major, he was awarded a research grant to work in Associate Professor Stephen Miller’s lab this summer.

Chopp wrote of Thackurdeen in yesterday’s email to the College community:

Ravi was an amazing and focused student, a caring friend, a dedicated volunteer, and a wonderful brother and son. For someone so young, he had already given so much, and was poised to give much more. His loss is

The Daily Gazette wishes to provide the comment space below for memories of Ravi and kind thoughts for his family and friends. We send our love and condolences to the Thackurdeen family.


  1. 0
    Marie says:

    I only met this young man once outside the Marlboro High School and I was so impressed with his good energy and enthusiasm. He appeared to be intelligent and humble, a caring young man that would make his mark in the world.

    Rest in Peace, Ravi

  2. 0
    Sharon Brown says:

    Ravi’s passing is an immeasurable loss.
    In the famous words of Elton John “his candle burned out long before, his legend ever will”.

    On behalf of the parents of PS 124(Q), my condolences to his family.

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