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Cornell Student Found Dead In Gorge Two Days Before Graduation

A senior at Cornell University in upstate New York was found dead in a nearby gorge on Friday, two days before his graduation ceremony.

Avram “Avi” Pinals of Newton, Massachusetts, had planned to attend medical school at the University of Michigan, the Cornell Sun reported Sunday. He majored in biological sciences with a concentration in neurobiology and behavior, and minored in music.

Police told the Sun that the cause of death is not yet determined but foul play is not suspected. He is the third Cornell student to die in the Fall Creek Gorge in a little over a year.

Pinals played trumpet in the university’s jazz band and wind symphony, was a philanthropy chair in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, and often volunteered at a local community kitchen, the Sun reported. He had also worked as a field laboratory technician at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, a research trainee at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a research assistant at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

“Avi’s profound impact on others was undeniable,” the director of advising for Cornell’s Office of Undergraduate Biology, Beth Howland, wrote on Saturday night. “To say it is tragic for such a promising young life to be cut so short is an understatement.”

Pinals’s faculty advisor described him as “a young man with great intellect, a generosity of spirit, and a genuine interest in other humans their welfare,” according to an email from the dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, Gretchen Ritter.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink

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