This afternoon, Columbia students received an email from Dean James Valentini that Charlie Noxon (CC ’21) passed away on Tuesday in a skiing accident in Park City, Utah

Charlie Noxon was a junior in Columbia College studying philosophy, economics, and East Asian Languages & Culture. Family and friends describe him as curious, kind, compassionate and full of creativity. A statement from Charlie’s family was included in the email, and highlighted his “a beautiful life of study and argument and travel and food and razzing and adventure and sweetness and most of all love.” He will be laid to rest at home this Saturday, and Dean Valentini noted that the Columbia community will come together in remembrance of his life at the start of the spring semester.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Charlie’s family, friends, and loved ones.

The full text of Dean Valentini’s email is below, as well as campus resources available for those seeking support at this time and at the start of the spring semester.

Dear Students,

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Charlie Noxon, a junior at Columbia College and a resident of Wien Hall, has passed away. His parents have asked that we share the statement below:

Our hearts are shattered. Our dear boy Charlie Noxon died on New Year’s Eve on a ski slope in Park City. 

The cliches about moments like this are true, it turns out. The one about life forever changing in a split second, about the fact that we are all bound up in a web of love and loss, about the primacy of community in times of unfathomable tragedy.

Charlie was 20 years old and a junior at Columbia. He studied philosophy and economics and Chinese. He was questioning, irreverent, curious and kind. 

There are no words. But words are what we’ve got right now, along with tears and hugs and massive quantities of baked goods and deli platters.

He was absolutely adored by his parents, Jenji Kohan and Christopher Noxon, and his siblings, Eliza and Oscar. 

Charlie had a beautiful life of study and argument and travel and food and razzing and adventure and sweetness and most of all love. We cannot conceive of life without him. 

Services will be held this Sunday, January 5 with his rabbi, Rabbi Sharon Brous, in the community he called home, Temple Israel of Hollywood.

Charlie was known similarly on campus. His adviser describes him as kind, caring and compassionate — a very thoughtful and introspective individual with great creativity, curiosity and wit. He will be greatly missed.

I recognize that this message cannot begin to fully convey all that Charlie was to those who loved him or to capture the pain of such a loss. As many of you are away from campus for winter break, we will plan to come together to honor Charlie’s life after the spring semester begins.

I am mindful that our community has recently experienced other heartbreaking losses from which we are still healing. Please remember that you are not alone in dealing with these losses. I encourage you to rely on your family and friends for support, whether you are on-campus or traveling, and to take advantage of local resources as needed.

The entire staff at Columbia College as well as counselors and advisers from across the University are also here to support you. Please see below for schedules, contact information and on-call availabilities.

I join you and the Columbia community in mourning this loss, and extend my deepest condolences to Charlie’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 has resumed normal office hours, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EST, and Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EST Although the regular drop-in schedule will resume on Tuesday, January 21, students who drop in during office hours prior to this date will be seen without an appointment. Students on- and off-campus may contact the CPS clinician-on-call, available 24/7, at (212) 854-2878.
  • The Office of Religious Life is available for counseling in Earl Hall or by calling (646) 906-5913, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST.
  • Berick Center for Student Advising — Call (212) 854-6378 to speak with an advising dean. Advisers are currently available by email and will resume appointments beginning next Monday, January 6.
  • Call Public Safety at (212) 854-5555 to be connected with Residential Life professional staff at any time.
  • Note that Nightline Peer Listening will resume on Tuesday, January 21, when the spring semester begins.