University Mourns Loss of Paul Schaffel ’12
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Michael Whaley recently announced to University students and faculty that Paul Schaffel ’12 had passed away earlier this month.
In his email to the University community, Whaley described Schaffel as an easy-going person who touched many in the community with his warm manner. Originally from New York City, Schaffel served as Editor-in-Chief of Historical Narratives, the University’s undergraduate history journal, during his time at the University. Schaffel, a double major in History and Psychology, received High Honors and was awarded the Butler Prize for best Honors thesis in African, Asian or Latin American History for his senior thesis on Indian student revolutionaries in London in the early twentieth century. Despite the illness with which he was diagnosed in his senior year, Schaffel attended graduation last May with the rest of the Class of 2012.
“Paul had been admitted to Columbia, Harvard and Stanford law schools, and it is so sad that he did not have an opportunity to dazzle faculty and classmates at one of these prestigious institutions as he did here at Wesleyan,” Whaley’s email to students and faculty read.
Although he was diagnosed with a long-term illness in December, neither Schaffel nor his family shared his health status with deans of the University.
“Paul’s mom shared with me that Paul did not want to be defined by his illness and completed his course work and honors thesis at Wesleyan while undergoing ‘grueling treatment,’” Whaley wrote in an email to The Argus.
Although Whaley’s email was apparently not sent to the Class of 2012, several of Schaffel’s class members mourned his loss in online comments in response to Wesleying’s post, which included Whaley’s email in its entirety.
Schaffel is survived by his mother, Ellen Walker, and his father, Steven Schaffel.
In his email to The Argus, Whaley noted that there are several resources on campus available to students who are suffering from loss of friends or family.
“With respect to campus resources, the staff at CAPS [Counseling and Psychological Services] is certainly always available to work with students who are grieving,” he wrote.
Whaley noted that those resources include a grief support group for University students run by Director of CAPS Dr. Jennifer D’Andrea. According to an email to all University students, the group meets on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Solarium, or Room 201 of the Davison Health Center. He also said that students are free to join this group at any time.
According to Whaley’s campus-wide email, any person who wishes to express condolences may contact Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs Lorna Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Scott will forward the messages to Schaffel’s family.