Daniel Schwartz, a Drexel sophomore chemistry student, was found dead by his friend and roommate, a non-Drexel student, in their off-campus apartment the morning of Nov. 18.
In an email message sent by President John A. Fry to the University at 5:55 p.m. Nov. 18, Fry stated that Schwartz was experiencing health issues. Schwartz was recently diagnosed with epilepsy and had suffered two seizures, one in June and another a couple weeks before his death.
“I was in shock when I heard it,” David Senos, a sophomore electrical engineering major and friend of Schwartz, said. “I had talked to Dan a day and a half prior to his death, and we made plans to hang out that weekend.”
Senos and Schwartz met in 2010 during the beginning of their freshman year. They frequently went to concerts and the gym together. Schwartz was in classes this term and had worked with the Global Volunteer Network.
“We lived two doors apart on the same floor of Calhoun,” Senos said. “[Dan] was always incredibly positive and funny. He always made sure everyone had a good time and never let anyone get down on themselves for too long. He was always incredibly friendly to everyone he met.”
Senos recalled a funny memory of Schwartz from their freshman year.
“A friend of ours threatened to turn the lights off on Dan when he went to take a shower. Dan warned, ‘If you turn the lights off on me, I will come out naked and tackle the first person I see.’ After turning the lights out, I heard rapid thumpings coming from our hallway. When I opened the door, I saw a naked flash of Dan charge down the hallway and tackle one of our friends. Everyone who witnessed this nearly doubled over in laughter,” Senos said.
Sophomore biology student Allison Kostrubanic also lived on the same floor of Calhoun Hall as Schwartz last year. The two had several classes together.
“Dan was unique and extremely smart. He had strong opinions but welcomed people with open arms. Dan did not care about a person’s social status or background. He only cared about them as a person. He did not judge others and kept close to the ones he loved,” she said.
Kostrubanic added: “Dan taught me how to be a better person. He motivated me to live my life to the fullest and to be happy every day.”
“He motivated me to focus on all the positive things in my life and to ignore the negative ones. I could honestly say that meeting Dan was one of the best moments of my experience at Drexel,” Senos said.
A celebration-of-life ceremony was held for Schwartz Nov. 26 at his home in Downingtown, Pa. He leaves behind his parents, William and Jacqueline Schwartz; his sister, Victoria; and his nephew, Asher.
In Fry’s message, he said, “The University has been in contact with Daniel’s family and offered deepest condolences as well as any assistance Drexel can provide.”
Fry also encouraged students struggling with the loss of Schwartz to reach out to Drexel’s Counseling Center for support at 215-895-1415 or after regular hours at 215-416-3337. The Center also offers a peer counseling helpline open Sunday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to midnight at 215-895-1523. The service is composed of trained student volunteers. For more information about crisis counseling, visit drexel.edu/studentlife/ch.
“I know you join me in mourning and remembering Daniel, and in keeping his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” Fry said.