By Connor Ryan
Nahom Kidanemariam, GSB ’09, was discovered dead Monday morning by an unsuspecting senior in a communal bathroom on the third floor of the Lowenstein Center, an academic building on Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, university officials said in a statement. He was 28.
The cause of death has been deemed an apparent suicide, John Carroll, vice president of Safety and Security at Fordham, told The Fordham Ram. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday night, as detectives from the New York Police Department and the New York City medical examiner continued to investigate the death.
Representatives from the NYPD have told The Daily News and other local news media that Kidanemariam appeared to have hanged himself from the ceiling of the bathroom. No note was found, Carroll confirmed. Rev. John Shea, S.J., director of Campus Ministry at Lincoln Center, was called to pray in the bathroom before Kidanemariam’s body was removed.
“Our hearts are broken today with the loss of this young, talented alumnus,” Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, said in a statement on Tuesday. “I cannot imagine his family’s pain, nor the sense of loss his classmates and friends are feeling.”
It is unclear why Kidanemariam was on campus – and school officials have not been able to find video surveillance of him entering the Lowenstein Center on Monday morning, Carroll said. Generally, Fordham alumni are granted access to campus at any time with a valid Ram Pass alumni ID.
But video surveillance did show Kidanemariam near the main entrance of the Lowenstein Center on Saturday night at 7:33 p.m., collecting a few pizzas and a liter of Coke from a Domino’s Pizza deliveryman, Carroll said. Video shows Kidanemariam with the pizza going up the escalator toward the plaza level of the building, but then he falls out of view. Further details about why Kidanemariam was on campus or who he was with remain unclear.
Carroll said he was not aware of any connection Kidanemariam might have had to current students, administrators or faculty members.
Kidanemariam had just started working last month as a senior consultant at Deutsche Bank in Manhattan, according to his LinkedIn profile. He had two registered addresses in Manhattan, according to school records, but it was found he had not recently been living at either location, Carroll said.
As an undergrad at Fordham, Kidanemariam was recognized for his academic and extracurricular achievement. As an accounting major, he was a member of Beta Alpha Psi – an exclusive honor organization for finance students. As a defensive back on the football team, he was celebrated as a scholar-athlete.
After graduating from Fordham in 2009, he received a Master of Science degree in accounting from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce in 2010. He has worked in New York City since graduating from Fordham, though he is originally from Ottawa, Canada.
University officials and the NYPD said they could not get in contact with Kidanemariam’s family until very late Monday night. Fordham students were made aware of the situation Monday afternoon, but Kidanemariam’s name was not released to the school community until Tuesday morning after his family was notified.
Administrators have asked anyone with information about Kidanemariam and the circumstances of his death to contact NYPD’s 20th Precinct Detective Squad at (212) 580-6414 or Fordham Security at (212) 636-6076.