Colin James Boyarski, son of design department head Daniel Boyarski, recently passed away at the age of 19. Colin, a freshman at Kenyon University in Ohio, was found dead on Sunday, April 3. The circumstances leading to his death are still under investigation, but it appears that the ultimate cause of death was hypothermia.
My first memory of Colin is him racing down the street in front of me and laughing that I wasn't able to catch him. Our fathers are both professors in the design department here at Carnegie Mellon, and we met when we were both very young children. Colin and I only saw one another a dozen or so times as kids. This last summer, however, I spent several weeks working with him as work studies here at CMU. Colin and I talked while we worked, and he told me about high school, his friends, and our families. We would joke about the 'design kid bond' that we shared. I was so impressed with the young man that Colin had become: He was intelligent, funny, kind, and well-spoken. His excitement to study at Kenyon was obvious, and he held little of the fear that freshmen often have about going to college.
Colin attended Carlow Campus School, a small and nurturing private school, up through eighth grade. During his high school years, he attended and graduated with honors from Taylor Allderdice high school here in Pittsburgh. He was involved in the ski club, the environmental club, Model UN, and a student group for alleviating hunger, as well as a member of the National Honor Society. Colin also participated in Dynamo Soccer for about 13 years. The broad range of activities in which Colin was active led him to have a large group of friends. Although he was still a private and, at times, shy person, he was also genuine: Colin was able to put you at ease with a single smile. His friends have described him as the glue that held their group together, and his every spare minute was spent either with friends or making plans to see them.
Colin was well-traveled for such a young person: He had made trips to Italy, New Zealand, Australia, and, just this past January, to the Philippines. For his 16th birthday, he traveled to New Zealand and Australia for two weeks with his dad. Colin loved the many different and new cultural foods that he was able to try during his travels, and his interest in different cultures was further developed at Kenyon, where he had not yet chosen a major but was showing great interest and promise and philosophy and art history.
As well as the many activities Colin participated in during high school, the summer after he graduated he chose to work as a tutor at Homewood Montessori. Colin worked there with grade school children to help prepare them for the coming school year. Colin took his job seriously, and it was obvious that he enjoyed it: He often brought home reports of his kids to his parents. His father told me a story that Colin had relayed to him about a breakthrough day for two of his students: Colin had come home beaming that the kids whom he was teaching long division finally understood the concept. Colin was so proud of his students that he promised ice cream cones as a reward. When he got to McDonalds, he realized he only had enough money to either buy his own lunch or the ice cream; without further consideration, he ordered the cones. Colin had been planning to reapply to be a tutor for this coming summer.
Colin will not be soon forgotten. Personally, I have dozens of mental snapshots and videos, memories of his dimpled smile, his laugh, or him teasing me. Colin touched more lives than I am sure he ever knew.
Colin is survived by his parents, Dan and Libby Boyarski, as well as his older sister Lusia. A candlelight vigil will be held for Colin on Monday, April 11, at 8:30 pm on the CFA lawn. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 17, at 2 pm in the Great Hall in CFA. More information is available at [SLANT 12]www.boyarskifamily.net[SLANT 12].