The University of Wisconsin-Madison is commemorating Beau Solomon, the UW–Madison student who died while studying abroad in Italy last week.
School staff, family, and friends have all come forth with their memories of the 19-year-old.
“All of us at UW–Madison are greatly saddened by this loss,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “Beau was a bright and caring young man who lived the Wisconsin Idea through his work at Badger Boys State and his desire to travel and experience other cultures. Our hearts go out to Beau’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Solomon had arrived in Italy last Thursday to study abroad at Rome’s John Cabot University. The first signs of trouble emerged when his roommate became worried after Solomon failed to show up for morning orientation. The two had lost contact at a pub the night before.
Solomon’s body was later found in the Tiber River. A homeless 40-year-old Italian man, Massimo Galioto, has been charged with “aggravated murder,” in the case.
Solomon’s brother Jake Solomon told NBC that his brother was a cancer survivor, a high school football player, and an ambitious student who had hoped to establish a career in law or politics. “In our family, he is the one who does it all right. He’s an incredible athlete. He is the one that keeps us all together,” Jake Solomon said of his brother.
The UW–Madison’s eulogy came after Soloman’s old high school, River Valley High School, held a candlelight vigil for him on the school’s football field. Many of Solomon’s friends and coaches stepped out to speak about the teen, emphasizing his charismatic personality, commitment to family and friends, and excellence as both an athlete and student.
“Beau was able to create a tight circle of friends while at the UW. His legacy is his commitment to his family and his love of life,” said Dean of Students Lori Berquam.
“Beau recently declared personal finance as his major at the end of April and was very excited about immersing himself in his studies this fall,” added Dean of the School of Human Ecology Soyeon Shim. “Our thoughts are with Beau’s family.”