The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.


File Photo

A medical examiner confirmed Wednesday morning that a graduate student’s death was ruled a suicide.

Administrators informed the Engineering community of Engineering graduate student Alfredo “Freddy” Abravanel’s death in an email on Tuesday. He had died “unexpectedly” the day before, the email said. Abravanel’s death marks the 12th student suicide since Feb. 2013.

Abravanel graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 2016 and had sub-matriculated into the Master’s program for mechanical engineering and applied mechanics. Due to his connection to both graduate and undergraduate communities, the University opted to send an email to the entire School of Engineering and Applied Science, notifying them of his death. The email, sent by SEAS Dean Vijay Kumar, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Life Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price, notified students of a support session that was held Tuesday starting at 2:30 p.m. in the MEAM Conference Room, Towne 227.

Originally from Greece, Abravanel “was known as a careful and creative thinker who would always have a unique thought or perspective to share,” Kumar and MEAM Department chair Robert Carpick wrote in a separate email to the MEAM community. “He was enthusiastic about engineering and was eager to solve challenging problems. Freddy was a smart and curious student; often quiet in class, and inquisitive during office hours. He was regularly seen dashing happily between MEAM classes and projects and his economics classes. He will be remembered as a lighthearted student with an easy smile.”

Abravanel had planned to graduate with his Master’s in May 2017. He was 22 years old.

Staff Reporter Carl-Emmanuel Fulghieri contributed reporting.

This article was last updated Nov. 2 at 12:27 a.m. If you wish to comment on this article, please contact Editor-in-Chief Lauren Feiner at