UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

Graduating senior may have fallen to his death Saturday
Chancellor Birgeneau urges campus community to reach out to one another

– Campus officials learned yesterday (Saturday, May 17) that a 22-year-old UC Berkeley student died from what police say may have been a fall from the third-story roof of his apartment building in the 2600 block of Durant Avenue. Berkeley Police are continuing to investigate with the assistance of the University of California Police Department until a definitive cause of death can be determined.

The student, Alan Kaname Hamai, 22, was a graduating senior majoring in anthropology. His parents had been at the campus on Friday to attend his graduation ceremony and were heading home to Southern California when they learned of their sonís death. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and others on campus expressed their great sadness at the loss of this promising young man and extended their condolences to his family and friends. Staff members from University Health Services have met with his apartment mates to provide assistance and will be available to help the family.

"In all my years in higher education, this has been among the saddest and most tragic times for a university community that I have known," the chancellor said. "Alan Hamaiís death and the terrible loss of others in the Cal family this year has been deeply felt by a great many of us. As we mourn for our latest loss, I urge each of you to look after yourself and to reach out to support and care for your friends, classmates, and coworkers."

Rosemary Joyce, chair of the Anthropology Department, said, "There are no words that can adequately express the sorrow all of us feel about the death of Alan Hamai, one of our own. This loss, which would be tragic no matter what the timing, is doubly difficult when he was facing the beginning of the next phase of his life.

"One thing from which I draw some comfort is knowing that his family was with him on Friday as he celebrated his commencement. In all the uncertainties that we each face every day, that is a great blessing for them."