Nawalage “Nischaal” Cooray, a pre-junior computer science major at Drexel University’s College of Computing and Informatics (CCI), was found dead Aug. 15 at his off campus residence.
Cooray, who co-founded the Drexel Microfinance Group, was an international student who moved to Philadelphia from Sri Lanka. He was a member of the Drexel Mathematics and Computer Science Society as well as the Phi Sigma Pi honors fraternity. He served as a teaching assistant at the Cyber Learning Center within the CCI.
Before attending Drexel, Cooray worked as an intern at Shift Solutions and John Keells Computer Services, both in Sri Lanka. In high school he was the captain of his swim team as well as the president of his school’s Computer Science Society. Upon coming to college Cooray was the recipient of the Drexel Global Scholarship, which awards full tuition to incoming international students with noteworthy academic standing, leadership initiative and dedication to strengthening communities.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who knew Nischaal best, his family and friends. While I know this loss is upsetting to us all, it is at times like this that the comfort of our college and university community can bring us together and give us strength,” Spiros Mancoridis, Interim Dean of the CCI, wrote in an email to CCI students.
The Gamma Xi chapter of Cooray’s honors fraternity Phi Sigma Pi also expressed their grief at his sudden loss in a Facebook post on their official page.
“Some people are taken from us too soon. You were a beautiful soul and human and we will all miss you dearly. On behalf of the Phi Sigma Pi chapter Gamma Xi Rest in Peace Nischaal. We will forever love you,” the post read.
For those seeking support as they grieve Cooray’s passing, the Drexel Counseling Center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. During regular hours they can be reached at 215-895-1415, and during emergency hours they can be contacted at 215-416-3337.