Columbia College sophomore Gage Bellitto passed away last week, Dean of Columbia College James Valentini announced in an email Friday. He was 19 years old.
Bellitto, a native of Bronxville, New York, died of an opioid overdose, according to Valentini. His family will hold a burial Mass at the Church of St. Joseph’s in Bronxville on Saturday.
“When we lose a member of our community, we are all affected,” Valentini said in the email. “I encourage you to rely on your family and friends for support, whether you are on-campus or traveling, as well as to take advantage of local resources as needed.”
Having transferred from Bates College this fall, Bellitto was a resident of Carlton Arms. He had planned to study financial economics at Columbia and was a member of Columbia’s Native American Council.
Read the full email below.
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Gage Bellitto, a sophomore who transferred to Columbia College this fall and was a resident of Carlton Arms.
Gage’s family has requested that we let you know he died as a result of an opioid overdose. We are working with Gage’s family to provide support and assistance during this difficult time.
The family will be receiving visitors today, December 29 at the Fred H. McGrath & Son Funeral Home in Bronxville, NY from 2:00–4:00 p.m. and 6:00–8:00 p.m. and will hold a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, December 30 at the Church of St. Joseph’s in Bronxville, NY at 10:45 a.m.
When we lose a member of our community, we are all affected. I encourage you to rely on your family and friends for support, whether you are on-campus or traveling, as well as to take advantage of local resources as needed. Counselors and advisers from across the University will also be here to support you, with extended on-call holiday hours through Tuesday, January 2 and regular hours in effect beginning Wednesday, January 3. Please see below for schedules, contact information and on-call availabilities.
I join the Columbia community in mourning this loss, and extend my condolences to Gage’s family and friends.
James J. Valentini
Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education
cc: Mary C. Boyce, Dean of Columbia Engineering
Columbia Counseling and Psychological Services — Today, December 29, all regular services will close at 2:00 p.m. with walk-in services available on Lerner 5 from 2:00–5:00 p.m. The CPS clinician on call, available after hours, may be reached at (212) 854-2878. Regular services will resume on Wednesday, January 3.
Columbia Health — Today, December 29, all regular services will close at 2:00 p.m. and will resume on Wednesday, January 3. Contact (212) 854-7426 for after hours services.Office of the University Chaplain is on-call during the winter break. Email email@example.com to arrange a time to speak.
Berick Center for Student Advising — You may reach Dean of Advising Andrew Plaa at firstname.lastname@example.org until the Berick Center for Student Advising reopens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 3.
Residential Life professional staff — Those of you on campus may look for on-call contact information posted in your residence hall.”