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After high school, Hanna pursued a successful career in finance, but chose to return to college to pursue his love of the classics and academia.

David Hanna, a student at the School of General Studies, has died, GS Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch announced in an email to the student body on Monday morning. According to the email, he had been battling a chronic illness.

After high school, Hanna pursued a career in finance, but chose to return to college to pursue his love of the classics and academia. Following his time at community college, he came to Columbia in 2015 and was double majoring in classics and financial economics.

While he immersed himself in his studies, he was also an avid reader, trained classical pianist, and deacon, Dean Rosen-Metsch said in the email. The dean also added that those who worked closely with Hanna described him as introspective, purposeful, compassionate, and with a keen sense of humor.

Read the full text of the email below.

Dear Students,

I am deeply saddened to inform you of the passing of GS undergraduate David Hanna, who had been battling a chronic illness. Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, David came to Columbia in 2015 to continue his lifelong passion of studying the classics.

David’s path to Columbia and the School of General Studies is a familiar one to many GS students. After a successful high school career, David opted to enter a career in finance, rather than pursue higher education. As he achieved great professional success, he never lost his love for academia. That love eventually inspired him to attend community college and then to apply to GS. A trained classical pianist, bibliophile, and deacon, David found a home at Columbia, where he immersed himself in his studies, double majoring in classics and financial economics. Those at GS who worked most closely with him describe David as introspective, purposeful, compassionate, and possessing a keen sense of humor.

Recognizing that words alone cannot capture the complexities of a student, I hope that this glimpse into the life of David Hanna will help our community in the healing process. I also want to remind all of us that we are not alone in dealing with loss. The entire staff at Columbia GS, as well as our colleagues throughout the campus, are available to offer continued support to GS students.

The Dean of Students Office will have regular walk-in hours and Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) will host drop-in hours from 6 - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday on the fifth floor of Lerner Hall. As always, you can reach out to your academic advisor directly, and the staff at CPS and members of the Office of the University Chaplain are all available to provide you with additional support. I have listed contact information and additional resources below.

With deepest sympathy,

Lisa Rosen-Metsch

Dean

Information about Columbia’s Counseling and Psychological Services can be found here, and about Barnard’s Furman Counseling Center can be found here. Columbia Nightline provides free, anonymous peer listening services and can be reached at 212-854-7777 from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. A full list of GS and Columbia health and well-being resources can be found here.

Staff writer Griffin Jones can be contacted at griffin.jones@columbiaspectator.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ColumbiaSpec.

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