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By Brian Sobotko '16

February 27, 2014

Bates student dies while studying in Rome

Bates College junior, John Durkin from Rye Beach, NH died last week while participating in the Trinity College study abroad program in Rome.

“This is a time of deep sadness for our community and for so many people who knew and loved John,” said President Clayton Spencer. “We are profoundly sad and share the tremendous grief of his family.”

Durkin had been last seen on Thursday at 2:30 a.m. in Campo de’ Fiori, a square filled with pubs that is popular for students.

According to the Associated Press, a passenger aboard a passing train spotted a body a few hours later in a tunnel running under a large park between stations near the Vatican and the Trastevere neighborhood.

Durkin majored in economics and minored in Asian Studies at Bates where he also played football.

Bates head football coach Mark Harriman said, “The Bates football family is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and teammate John Durkin. John’s commitment to excellence in all phases of his life was inspirational to the other members of the squad and a major factor in the team’s success over the past three years.

“We will remember the fortitude and character that John displayed on a daily basis and attempt to emulate those standards. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Durkin family during this difficult time.”

Bates students were away on winter break when the tragedy occurred. The College was consulting with the Durkin family to determine the appropriate plans to honor their son.

Durkin was 21.

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