To the Middlebury College community:
It is with profound sadness that I write to inform you about Benjamin Robert Wieler, a Middlebury junior, who passed away today, September 25, in Barcelona, Spain.
Ben died with his family by his side from complications following an operation to remove a brain tumor. At the time of his death, he was a student in Barcelona in a study-abroad program offered by IES Abroad.
The son of Stephen and Susan Wieler of Madison, N.J., Ben exuded a self-confidence that was evident to all who knew him. His advisor, Professor Robert Prasch, remembers Ben as the kind of student who knew what he wanted in life, had a plan, and always put himself in a position to get things done. One of his other teachers in the Economics Department, Professor Jessica Holmes, said, "If only Middlebury could fill their classrooms with students like Ben Wieler. He was bright, conscientious, and thoughtful. His questions were insightful and his comments thought-provoking."
Ben was a College Scholar in both the spring and fall semesters of 2008, and was active in a variety of campus activities. He was an Admissions tour guide, a midfielder on the junior varsity soccer team, and a member of the Student Government Association Comprehensive Fee Committee. Ben had the gift of friendship. His many friends describe him as warm, patient, funny, smart but unpretentious, and always willing to help someone out. He loved life and gave much of himself to others.
Ben is survived by his parents and his older brother Matt, who created a Web site where friends and family can offer condolences and share their memories of Ben:
Mead Chapel will be open from 7-8 p.m. tonight (Friday, September 25) for people who want to pay their respects or offer a prayer as we mourn the loss of Ben Wieler. Also, the Newman Club will honor Ben at a mass this Sunday, September 27, at 8 p.m. in Mitchell Green Lounge.
Students should be aware that counselors at the Health Center and members of the residential life staff are available to talk with them.
I know you will join me in extending our thoughts and prayers to Ben's family during this difficult time. Details about memorial arrangements will be made available as they develop.
Ronald D. Liebowitz
President, Middlebury College