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Front Page arrow Past Issues arrow Issue 1 - Archive arrow Scholarship to honour top student found dead in river
Scholarship to honour top student found dead in river PDF Print E-mail
Contributed by Irisanne Fajardo   
Wednesday, 06 September 2006
The University of Toronto Mathematics and Physics Department at St. George campus has established a new scholarship fund following the death of Robert Barrington Leigh.

In a letter to the Mathematics Department, Professor John Bland writes, "Robert was an exceptional young person in every way. We got to know him quickly because he was already taking graduate courses by his second year."

Additionally, throughout his academic careers, Barrington Leigh has won many top awards, both internationally and at the University of Toronto.

"But we were impressed not only by his talent. Robert was shy and modest, despite his enormous abilities," Bland writes. "We expected him to go on to graduate studies at one [sic] of [sic] the world's top universities, and to have a brilliant career."

Barrington Leigh, age 20, went missing from his Edmonton home on August 13, 2006 where he was visiting his parents for the summer. At 10:30 p.m., Barrington Leigh told his mother that he was going to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. After he failed to return the next morning, he was reported missing. His last known communication was through a text message to his girlfriend in Italy.

After his disappearance, his family created a website prompting hundreds of volunteers and media to search for Barrington Leigh. Over 100 volunteers combed through the river valley, while police launched an extensive land and water search.

Even after police called off the search, volunteers still searched the area where it was thought that Barrington Leigh was headed. On August 22, his body was found in the North Saskatchewan River by Alan Flynn, a River Tours West owner.

In a media interview, Edmonton Police spokesperson Lisa Lammi revealed that the police suspected no foul play was involved, although at a later date, Barrington Leigh's mother and brother confirmed that his death was suicide.

Barrington Leigh, whose specialist involved both Mathematics and English, was set to start his last undergraduate year at the University in Toronto this September. Donations and information can be accessed at www.findrobert.ca.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 September 2006 )
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