A message to Penn students

With heavy hearts, we write to share that Nathaniel Gordon, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, passed away Saturday, March 23, at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

Nate, as he was known to family and friends, was a native of Covington, Georgia, and moved to Philadelphia when he was 13. He earned his high school diploma through the Community College of Philadelphia’s Gateway to College Program, a partnership with the School District of Philadelphia that enables high school students to enroll in CCP courses.

Nate was active in the Philadelphia community. He began interning for State Senator Sharif Street during high school, providing constituent services and leading a project on civic engagement for children. In 2022, Nate told a news writer for CCP: “I’m interested in learning how different systems work, how cities are built, and how this impacts people of color.”

Nate started his Penn journey as a member of the Pre-First Year Program. He was also connected to the Makuu community and lived in the College House at the Radian.

University staff are working closely to support Nate’s family and friends through this difficult time, and there will an in-person support session for any Penn students who need it at 4 p.m. today in the Ben Franklin Room, Houston Hall.

Additionally, Student Health and Counseling’s Let’s Talk program will have staff available for free and confidential drop-in conversations throughout the coming week.

Whenever a student passes away, we feel a wide range of emotions and a deep sense of loss. Please rely on one another, your loved ones, and University offices for support. We grieve alongside you and will be there to support your needs during this time of great sadness.

Please use the resources below if you need support.

If you have a personal or academic concern and want to talk to someone at Penn:

· Student Health and Counseling (215-898-7021, 24/7): Any student can speak to a trained clinician by phone, day or night. Students also can schedule virtual appointments. Read about Stress, Distress, and Crisis for additional emotional health support from Student Counseling.

· Your house director, faculty director and fellows, your RA, and student organization advisors, along with other staff and faculty you know and trust, are good supports.

· The University Chaplain’s Office (215-898-8456) provides pastoral support, informal advising, and counseling to students in need of care and comfort. Chaplain’s Office staff are here “to be a shoulder, to be an ear, to be a friend, to be a fellow sojourner, to be an advocate, and a faithful presence.” The Chaplain’s Office works with faith communities and campus ministers who also provide spiritual support. Students of all faiths are warmly welcomed.

* College of Arts and Sciences (215-898-6341) 

* School of Engineering and Applied Science (215-898-7246) 

* School of Nursing (215-898-6687) 

* Wharton Undergraduate Division (215-898-7608) 

* Other faculty or staff you know and trust

If you don’t feel well:

Student Health and Counseling offers comprehensive primary care services and supports. Please call 215-746-WELL (9355) to schedule an appointment with a provider or speak to a nurse who can help with your care. You may also schedule an appointment through the Wellness portal.

If you aren’t sure where to go or you’re concerned about a friend:

· Student Intervention Services (vpul-sisteam@pobox.upenn.edu and/or 215-898-6081) supports students in crises, helps students access resources, and responds to concerns about students’ well-being.

· The Division of Public Safety’s HELP line (215-898-HELP/215-898-4357) is a 24/7 service that connects Penn students, staff, faculty, and families with appropriate resources.