Zachary Brunt ’15 dies, cause not yet known

Zachary Brunt ’15, a scientist and musician from Alexandria, Va., died Wednesday, according to an email from Yale College Dean Mary Miller.

Brunt was found dead at J.W. Gibbs Laboratory earlier this afternoon. Police were called to the scene at 2 p.m., and Brunt’s body was brought to the medical examiner.

Miller said the Yale Police Department is conducting a full investigation. Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins said there is “no evidence of foul play nor…any indication of an accident,” according to Miller’s email. Higgins deferred comment to the Office of Public Affairs and Communcations. University spokesman Tom Conroy could not be reached as of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Davenport Master Richard Schottenfeld invited students to come together in the Davenport courtyard on Thursday at 8 p.m. to reflect on Brunt’s life.

Read the full text of Miller’s email below:

18 April 2012

To the Members of the Yale Community:

It is my very sad duty to report that Zachary Brunt, Davenport ’15, of Alexandria, Virginia, died earlier today. We mourn the loss of Zachary and extend our deepest sympathy to his family and many friends.

Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins tells me that there is no evidence of foul play nor is there any indication of an accident. The Yale Police Department is conducting a full investigation.

Davenport Master Richard Schottenfeld invites you to come to the Davenport Courtyard on Thursday, April 19, at 8 p.m., to reflect on Zach’s life and to console one another.

If you want to talk to someone about your feelings, please reach out to your friends, your advisers, a freshman counselor, your dean, or your master. The Yale Mental Health & Counseling Services will have professional counselors available tonight to anyone who wishes to come over to 55 Lock Street, the Yale Health Center, until 11:00 p.m. After 11 p.m., you should not hesitate to call (203) 432-0123 to get in touch with a counselor on call. The Chaplain’s Office, in Bingham Hall, Entryway D, will be open to all until 11 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. You can also call (203) 432-1128 to reach the Chaplain’s staff. Old Campus Fellows will open their suites to all freshmen this evening, as well.

In the days to come, we will continue to meditate on the sudden, tragic loss of such a brilliant, outgoing young scientist and musician. For now, I ask you to focus on one another and offer support at this sad time.

Yours truly,

Mary Miller

Dean of Yale College


  • ycollege14

    :( RIP

  • firebird

    @ ycollege14

    Really? A person dies and an emoticon, an upside-down smiley face, is the best you can do? How much energy did that take–and then did you think your obligation of feeling sad was done? Show some *depth*.

    • inycepoo

      As if this comment shows any more depth than the preceding comment in question. I think someone needs to reevaluate first before being so quick to criticize others.

    • bastionkid

      Get off your high horse.

    • lakia

      What is WRONG with you?

    • peterjoss19

      so let me get this straight, you call him lazy and then you criticize his “lack of depth”? last time i checked your comment didn’t even mention anything about how you hope Zach rests in peace? Real classy.

      Rest in peace buddy. You’ll be deeply missed :(

  • stpdyalies

    how much energy do you normally expend on your comments firebird? how deep do comments on death need to be to warrant a place here? I hope insults are deep enough, for both our sakes.

  • xfxjuice

    Zach was one of the brightest people I have ever met. I was proud to have him in my class. Rest In Peace.

  • JSimon

    I am a sophomore at Zach’s high school. He was a track captain last year, and my friends and I always looked up to him. He was an excellent person and was loved by all. He inspired us to be better, setting an example as the coolest guy around. His spirit is truly irreplaceable. He has left a Zach-shaped hole in all of our lives. This is a time of solemn reflection. We will forever mourn that he is lost to the world. I know I speak for everyone when I say that he will be missed.

  • CogitoErgoGnome

    You were an amazing person and a great friend. I wanted to get to know you even more, but thought that it would happen naturally during the three more years here we were supposed to share. I wish that I hadn’t waited.

    My condolences to Zach’s family. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • JG

    Zach was brilliant; he could talk with anyone intelligently about anything. He was so entertaining and great to be around. Zach encouraged me to join cross-country/track at his high school (I’m now a senior). It was wonderful when he came back to visit us on the team and share his stories from Yale, and I know I’ll miss him as much as anyone else who spent even a modicum of time with him. It seems so unfair that we can’t see him ever again. I loved knowing you, Zach.

  • joen

    Zach was my big sib at TJ. He showed me around my freshman year, he taught me to play a few songs on the guitar, and he was an excellent role model. But beyond that, he taught me (as well as everyone around him) to live life to the fullest, and to live it for you, and only you. Zach made everyone around him smile, no matter what the situation. As I sit here now, typing this, I can’t help but smile at all of the fond memories people have of him. Rest in peace, Zach Brunt. You left us too soon.

  • MariaHelenaMendonca

    We are very sad to know and also we mourn the loss of Zachary and extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

  • peterjoss19

    I knew Zach ever since we were babies. He was an amazing person that had so much to offer the world. These past few years we didn’t talk much and I really regret that now. But I have to remember to look back at the memories we did share. Rest in peace buddy :( ill miss you