CONTENT WARNING: This article includes mention of student death and death by mental illness. University Counseling services are available at 609-258-3141, and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at +1 (800) 273-TALK (8255). A Crisis Text Line is also available in the United States; text HOME to 741741. Students can contact residential college staff and the Office of Religious Life for other support and resources. Additionally, TigerWell will be holding drop-in hours for students to speak to outreach counselors Monday thru Thursday, May 23–26 from 3–5 p.m. ET via Zoom here or here.
Two undergraduate students have passed away this week, according to emails sent to the undergraduate student body by Dean of Undergraduate Students Kathleen Deignan.
Undergraduate students were notified on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 18, of the passing of Justin Lim ’25 the day prior. The email came five days after Jazz Chang ’23 was found deceased near Lake Carnegie on campus on Friday, May 13.
Deignan’s emails stated that Chang’s “cause of death is under investigation by the county medical examiner, but no foul play is suspected,” and that Lim “lost his life to mental illness at home in Chicago.”
Following the announcement, students and faculty reflected on Chang’s life on campus and mourned the tragic loss.
Undergraduate Student Government (USG) President Mayu Takeuchi ’23 emailed the undergraduate student body with reflections on her own personal experience with Chang.
“Jazz was an enthusiastic classmate, through many hours of office hours and working on problem sets, and more importantly, a caring friend,” she wrote. “Though we have explored different paths through Princeton, Jazz had always been a fun-loving and deeply compassionate member of our community.”
At Chang’s funeral ceremony, which was held in the University Chapel and live streamed to YouTube on Thursday, May 19 at 2 p.m. ET, Loki Lin ’22 spoke about Chang’s influence.
“Lately, I’ve been thinking about [Chang’s] incredible kindness and generosity, and how much of a difference he made to me,” Lin said.
Lin said that one of Chang’s incredible qualities was being able to “trick” someone into accepting help while making you think you’re the one doing the helping.
Jennifer Rexford ’91, a professor in the computer science department, in which Chang was a concentrator, described Chang as “a remarkably thoughtful and supportive person who bent over backwards to help friends in need.”
“Jazz was also exceptionally bright and inquisitive, with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and travel,” she wrote.
Patrick Caddeau, dean of Forbes College, wrote in an email to juniors in the residential college, “Many of you will have had the opportunity to interact and connect with Jazz during your time in Forbes and at Princeton. Please know that all of us share your grief in learning this tragic news.”
Chang was a B.S.E. computer science concentrator in Forbes College and was an undergraduate fellow with the James Madison Program, as well as a member of the Ultimate Frisbee team on campus. Chang was originally from Somerset, N.J. and was a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Edison, N.J.
Following Lim’s passing just days later, staff and students mourn his passing, reflecting on his humor and kindness.
Class of 2025 President Gil Sander Joseph ’25, alongside Takeuchi, sent an email to the University community the day following Lim’s death, writing, “Justin’s life is a tremendous gift to all who knew him, and his memory will sustain our entire community, now and forever. Let us continue to take care of ourselves and one another.”
In the email, Sander Joseph and Takeuchi encouraged students who were close to Lim to share memories that will be collected and shared in a “memory capsule,” available here.
Gabriel Robare ’24, one of Lim’s Community Action leaders for his orientation program, also reflected on his time with Lim.
“Justin was a fair, sharp, and good young man. In the time we shared together in Community Action he was funny and tenacious,” he wrote to the ‘Prince.’ “I’m terribly sad that his struggle has taken him in this way. We all ought to look out for our friends and hold each other closer in Justin’s memory.”
Robare is a Head Puzzles Editor for the ‘Prince.’
Stacey Sinclair, head of Mathey College, of which Lim was a member, wrote to undergraduates in Mathey College, “We extend our deepest condolences to Justin’s family and friends, and to all those who taught, advised, and mentored him.”
Lim was an Operations Research and Financial Engineering concentrator in Mathey College, and was a native of Chicago, Ill. and a graduate of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (UCLS). At UCLS, he was involved in the Center for Decision Research and worked as a tennis counselor.
Dr. Calvin Chin, director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), described the importance of students remaining close while away from campus, saying, “I would just encourage people to just sort of, like, in whatever way is possible, whether that be FaceTiming or texting or whatever, to just make it known that you’re there for each other and to find ways to sort of connect that way.”
He also discussed the conflicting feelings that students may feel in light of the news coming just prior to Reunions and Commencement exercises on campus.
“Accepting that there will be conflicting feelings is absolutely important and normal and needs to be honored. It’s okay to both mourn and grieve and feel sad, and at the same time, have moments of celebration and have moments of joy that are connected to everything that’s happening as we close up the year,” he told the ‘Prince’ in an interview.
Chin also emphasized that CPS, while not able to offer ongoing counseling to students outside of New Jersey, can offer consultations and other on-call services while students are off-campus during the summer.
Chang is survived by parents Mai Lin and Stephen Chang and brothers Jonathan Chang and Justin Lin.
Lim is survived by his parents, Peggy Miran Lim and Yung Bong Lim ’87, and brother Jake Lim ’23.
A gathering for the University community was held in the wake of Chang’s death on Saturday, May 14, and a funeral service for Chang was held on Thursday, May 19. A memorial service was also held at 8 p.m. ET on May 19 to remember Lim.
The ‘Prince’ continues to work on stories that will capture the lives and remembrances of loved ones of Jazz and Justin. If you would be interested in speaking to a reporter for a full-length remembrance about either of the students, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katherine Dailey is a Head News Editor who often covers breaking news, politics, and University affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @kmdailey7.