Headmaster Charles Cahn III said Parker Regan, , was a young man with a warm smile who had a positive impact on the campus of the Connecticut boarding school he attended.
Cahn is the 25th headmaster at Suffield Academy, a school that has been around for 180 years. Suffield is a close-knit community that serves both boarding and day students, and Cahn said the tragic loss of one of their own had deeply impacted the students and faculty.
"Parker was a wonderful young man. He was talented, thoughtful and very engaging," Cahn said. "Everyone at Suffield loved him and this premature loss of life is tragic."
According to Cahn, Regan just graduated the prep school in May after spending three years at the boarding school, arriving in the 10th grade.
"He was a major success story at our school with a warm smile and an engaging way," Cahn said. "And I think our school was very important to him."
Suffield has students from around the country and around the world.
"There is tremendous personal impact," Cahn said.
David Rockwell, considered a legendary teacher and advisor at Suffield, and an accomplished golfer. But it was his work ethic that stood out to the 40-year Suffield veteran.
"He knew what he needed to do, and he did it," Rockwell said.
The situation is slightly unique for the Suffield community as with classes primarily suspended for the summer, there is no counseling being offered yet and any message to the campus at large is slightly premature as Cahn and all of Suffield are taking their cues from Regan's family.
"Parker's parents have been excellent partner's with us throughout his years at Suffield," Cahn said. "They are wonderful people."
Because of his alumni status, Cahn said the grieving process at Suffield is even more widespread.
"The situation is unique because he is an alumnus," Cahn said. "There is a tremendous amount of healing to be done in our community and for those who knew him starting college."
Even though the shock and sadness are still hanging over Suffield, Cahn said that Regan's impact was one that would not be forgotten.
"He was a deeply valued member of the Suffield family and always will be," Cahn said. "His presence will never end."
The theme for the upcoming 2012-2013 academic year at Suffield is "resilience." And this tragedy will test that more thoroughly than any of the planned curriculum.