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University of Vermont identified student found dead of exposure

Connor Gage has been identified at the University of Vermont student who died Saturday, possibly due to exposure to sub-zero temperatures.

Annie Stevens, vice provost for student affairs, sent a letter Sunday morning to the University of Vermont community, identifying Gage of Little Falls, N.Y.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Connor’s family,” Stevens wrote. “Our sincere thoughts of care and sympathy are also extended to his friends, classmates, and to faculty and staff who were close to him.”

More: Burlington police: 19 year-old University of Vermont student found dead outdoors

More: University of Iowa student dies after being found unresponsive during polar vortex

Police on Sunday morning had not yet formally identified the 19-year-old they say was found dead in the snow in a parking lot near 294 North Winooski Ave. They stated in a Saturday afternoon news release that temperature and “inadequate” clothing contributed to the student’s death.

Burlington Deputy Chief Jon Murad wrote on Saturday evening that it had not yet been determined if drugs or alcohol contributed to the student’s death. Police were continuing to investigate the student’s condition and whereabouts prior to his death.

The National Weather Service in Burlington stated in a Tweet on Saturday morning that it was the coldest Ground Hog Day since 1993.

Who was Connor Gage?

Gage was a member of the Wellness Environment and was also active in the WE Mentor Program in the South Burlington school district, according to Stevens.

He was a first-year student at the university who chose to major in Neuroscience.

Gage was a 2018 graduate of Little Falls High School, according to Central Valley School District Principal Dick Keeler.

Local news accounts show that Gage had been an honors student in his junior year in high school and participated in football and wrestling.

A campus gathering for Gage

A campus gathering and/or family service is being planned. There were no dates or times on Saturday morning, according to Stevens letter.

The university posted a Facebook page for those who want to leave a message

“We are all a Catamount family and grieve with Connor’s family, friends, and classmates,” one community member wrote.

Stevens wrote, “when any member of our community passes away, we are bound to feel a profound sense of loss, and reactions are felt in a variety of ways. During this time, we highly encourage you to reach out to your primary support system as a source of care and connection.”

Where the UVM community can find help

Campus community members looking for resources:

For students: UVM’s Counseling and Psychiatry Services: (802) 656-3340 

For staff and faculty: Invest EAP at (802) 864-EAPØ (3270) or toll free at 1-866-660-9533 

More: Brutal US deep freeze blamed for at least 11 deaths, sets all-time record cold in Illinois cities

More: How long does it take for hypothermia, mummified skin to set in during extreme cold?

Follow Nicole Higgins on Twitter @NicoleHDeSmet.


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