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Julia M. Carpenter

Julia M. Carpenter, a sophomore in chemical engineering, was found dead in her Random Hall dormitory room early Monday morning. She was 20 years old.

“Julie was definitely very outgoing and friendly, happy talking to people,” said Matthew S. Cain ’02, president of Random Hall. “Her death took us all completely by surprise.”

Carpenter was a member of Alpha Chi Sigma (AXE), a professional chemistry fraternity. Last year, she rowed for the women’s crew team.

AXE President Karla E. Maguire ’01 described Carpenter as “a very vibrant person. ... She was always volunteering to do things, and she was always in a positive mood.”

“She was very active and enthusiastic in our club,” said AXE Treasurer Dan Lowrey ’02. “We will miss her a lot.”

Random Hall Housemaster Nina Davis-Millis said Carpenter had gone out for dim-sum on Sunday and attended a birthday party on the Random Hall roofdeck that evening.

“We were just stunned [by the news of Carpenter’s death],” Davis-Millis said. “She was making plans for the summer. ... She was happy and filled with life.”

“She always had something to say that would brighten up someone’s day,” said Jenny Lee ’02, another member of AXE.

Carpenter’s roommate found her unconscious on the floor of their room at about 2:30 a.m. Monday. Davis-Millis summoned Campus Police, who confirmed that Carpenter was dead. There were no signs of foul play, according to Campus Police. The Middlesex County Medical Examiner is scheduled to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Chief of Mental Health Service Peter Reich, along with counseling and support staff, met with Random Hall residents yesterday afternoon to answer questions and offer counseling.

A graduate of Stratford High School in Houston, Texas, Carpenter was an accomplished student and a talented musician who entertained nursing home residents with violin performances when she was in middle school.

Carpenter is survived by her parents, Timothy and Kay Carpenter, and her younger sister, Lindsay Ann Carpenter.