UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

A message to the UC Berkeley community from Chancellor Robert Birgeneau

– We have learned that one of our students, Christopher Wootton, a senior in engineering who would have graduated this month, was stabbed in an altercation as he walked home on the southside of campus early Saturday morning. He died on the way to the hospital. We have spoken with Christopher's father and offered the campus's sincerest condolences to his family for their terrible loss.

This futile and senseless killing is a loss felt by us all, including his teachers, friends, and especially his fraternity brothers at Sigma Pi, where Christopher served both as vice president (2006-07) and pledge educator (2007-08). We understand that he was to start graduate school in nuclear engineering at Cal this fall. Our student services and Tang Center staff are reaching out to help those who are most immediately affected by this tragic incident.

Saturday evening, the Berkeley Police Department announced that it had a suspect in custody who had confessed to the killing. UCPD is assisting Berkeley city police and is stepping up efforts in its continued commitment to keep our campus and areas nearby a safe place to live, work, and learn.

As we enter an already stressful time of year with classes ending, exams approaching, and projects needing to be completed, I hope that you will look after yourself and reach out to your friends and classmates.

It is natural and understandable to be deeply shaken when tragedy strikes and when stressful situations occur. Please do not hesitate to make use of the resources we have available for helping to deal with difficult times. University Health Services at the Tang Center can provide counseling support for students, faculty, and staff. Students may contact Counseling and Psychological Services at (510)642-9494; faculty and staff may contact CARE Services at (510)643-7754. The Tang Center also publishes materials on many related topics, including information about coping with anxiety or depression, advice for working with distressed students, and guidance for difficult times. Contact the center or find information online.

Sincerely,
Robert J. Birgeneau
Chancellor, UC Berkeley