In Memoriam

E Sorensen
Evelyn Sorensen (photo credit: LinkedIn)

President Laurie Patton and Vice President of Student Affairs Smita Ruzicka shared the following message with the Middlebury campus community.

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We are writing to share more information about our student who was found deceased in her residence hall room last night. The investigation by the Middlebury Police Department is ongoing and indicates there was no foul play and there is no danger to the campus or surrounding community. On November 20, 2023, Middlebury Police confirmed that the manner of death was an accident and the cause of death was an overdose.

Evelyn Mae Sorensen was a member of our class of 2025, from Lincoln City, Oregon, where they graduated from Taft High School. We have been in touch with Evelyn’s family, who are understandably devastated by this news. 

A double major in earth and climate sciences and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies, Evelyn was engaged throughout our community intellectually and socially—on campus and in town—with a particular appreciation for the outdoors. 

Evelyn was a member of the Middlebury Mountain Club where she was passionate about backpacking and canoeing, having served numerous times as a trip leader for Middlebury peers.

Known as a dynamic student with ideas and solutions to offer the world, over this past summer Evelyn worked as a research assistant in earth and climate sciences, collaborating on projects with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. They also served on the Student Advisory Council for earth and climate sciences. Evelyn was a barista at Haymaker Buns and Little Seed Coffee while also working as a host at American Flatbread.

Those who were close to Evelyn have described her as kind, caring, and exceedingly generous with their time and attention. Her commitment to the environment and to social justice was apparent in everything they did.

Please keep Evelyn and her family in your thoughts, as we all will.

We also encourage you to be mindful of your own needs and avail yourself of the support services Middlebury offers, including:

For students:

For employees:

  • : 802-443-5626, or ,  access information. Chaplains on Callscottcenterstaff@middlebury.eduScott Center Chaplains
  • : 866-660-9533 (Company Code: Middlebury College), is available 24/7 for faculty and staff and their immediate family members, and those residing in their homes to speak to a counselor,among other services.Employee and Family Assistance Program
  • Employees concerned about a student can submit a Care Report at  which will be assessed each business day by Care Management staff. Employees can also access 24/7 consultation through TimelyCare’s customer assistance line at 833-484-6359 by pressing 2 and identifying themselves as a Middlebury employee. TimelyCare clinicians can help identify next steps, make referrals to on-campus resources, and engage campus emergency protocols if needed.go/care

Connection spaces:

  • Thursday, September 21, 9-10:15 a.m., Health & Wellness Education Office, Ground Floor below Ross Dining
    • Join Center for Health and Wellness staff, and therapy dogs Milo and Stella, for support and connection. Staff are available to talk with students, share strategies for caring for yourself and others, and explore continued resources. 
  • Thursday, September 21, 3-5 p.m., Stewart 214
    • CARE Management (Stewart 214) will host Knots n Thoughts to share space and work on independent crafting projects (knitting, crocheting, coloring, etc). This is a wonderful opportunity to be among others but not feel the pressure of speaking. No crafting experience needed.
  • Thursday, September 21, 4:30 p.m., Bicentennial Hall 338
    • Clarity Mindfulness Group—Clarity will focus on mindfulness for stress reduction. We will practice together and encourage brief moments of awareness and calm throughout the week. 
  • Friday, September 22, Stewart 214
    • CARE Management will host open drop-in hours between 9-noon and 1 & 5 p.m. Tela, the dog, will also be available at the office during this time if you would prefer a loving canine companion.

We are working with the family on how we might remember Evelyn. This day has been a difficult one for Middlebury. We hope that you will take the time and space you need to process this loss.   

In Community,

Laurie L. Patton

Smita Ruzicka
Vice President for Student Affairs