Andrew Kroon, a Berkeley College senior, was found dead Saturday in his room in the Taft Apartments.
Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said Sunday that though police and the medical examiner have not yet released any reports, the death is believed to be accidental. University administrators and Berkeley College Master John Rogers learned of the death Saturday evening.
“At this point, our hearts go out to his family,” Salovey said. “The death of anyone so young … is always a tragedy.”
Berkeley students were notified about the death Sunday morning in an e-mail from Rogers. A gathering was held at 4 p.m. at the Master’s House for students, family and friends of Kroon.
Before the meeting, Rogers described Kroon, a Latin American Studies major, as active in many student environmental groups and interested in the welfare of people throughout Latin America.
“This is a student who will be unbelievably missed by countless members of the Yale community,” he said. “His social conscience manifested itself in everything he did.”
Kroon had two brothers on campus, Michael, a junior in Berkeley, and Stephen, a senior in Jonathan Edwards College. Both said they believe their brother will serve as an inspiration to others.
“If you knew him, find those qualities in yourself, recognize them in other people, and appreciate them,” Stephen Kroon wrote in an e-mail. “If you didn’t know him, ask someone.”
Michael Kroon wrote in an e-mail that he has received an incredible outpouring of support from the Yale community. He described Andrew as “my idol, brother, and best friend.”
“I love my brother more than I can understand,” he wrote. “I’m happy that his life was so extraordinarily blessed and am certain that his passing will send sorrow and celebration throughout the world.”
Friends of Kroon emphasized his commitment to everything he did, especially his work on environmental policy.
“He was very concerned about environmental issues and worked very hard on them at Yale,” said Thomas Graedel, a professor in the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies who worked with Kroon of the Advisory Committee on Environmental Management. “He was connected to all the people at the University who are at the forefront of environmental issues.”
Andrew Cedar ’06, the outgoing president of the Yale College Council, worked with Kroon last year on a report on energy use at Yale, which suggested ways Yale could achieve more environmentally-friendly policies. But beyond Kroon’s work on environmental issues, Cedar said he will remember Kroon’s personality best.
“He was so friendly to everyone and was such a good friend,” Cedar said. “He really, really cared.”
More than 100 people attended the gathering in Berkeley, including several members of the Berkeley community and Kroon’s family. Although Salovey, Rogers and Kroon’s parents spoke, silence characterized most of the hour as loved ones wiped away tears and hugged one another, or stood apart, staring into space. At one point, however, the courtyard of the master’s house exploded with cheers and clapping — a nearly 30-second outburst of emotion in honor of Kroon’s memory.
“A life cut off early and short, it just reminds us of the preciousness of our own life and our mortality,” Salovey said before the meeting to the News. “One would hope one would remember those things without having to experience such a shocking reminder of them.”
The University has arranged to have counselors available to speak with grieving friends and acquaintances of Kroon.
*Note-This article has been corrected.
— Staff Reporter Amanda Ruggeri contributed to this report.