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GS Student David Hanna Has Passed Away

This morning, we received notice that Columbia School of General Studies student David Hanna has passed away from a chronic illness.

David pursued a double major in classics and financial economics at Columbia after a successful career in finance. He was a trained classical pianist and deacon with a passion for academia. David was described by friends as “introspective, purposeful, compassionate, and possessing a keen sense of humor”, according to an email from Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch.

The full text of Dean Rosen-Metsch’s email is below, as well as a list of on-campus resources for support. Our deepest condolences go to David’s family and friends.

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



GS Dean of Students Office

(212) 854-2881

 Counseling and Psychological Services

5th and 8th Floor Lerner Hall

(212) 854-2878

 Office of the University Chaplain


 Live Well | Learn Well

 Office of University Life

Call this anonymous peer listening service at 212-854-7777, 10:00 p.m.–3:00 a.m.

Barnard Resources:

Dean of Studies Office: 105 Milbank Hall, (212) 854-2024

Furman Counseling Center: 100 Hewitt Hall, (212) 854-2092

After-hours psychological emergency line: (855) 622-1903

After-hours clinician on-call: (855) 622-1903

International SOS for those students who are abroad can contact +1-215-942-8478

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