Dear Merrill College students, faculty and staff members, and friends,
I write with deep sadness to tell you that one of our rising sophomores, Enzo Alvarenga, was killed in an accident Wednesday while bicycling near his home in Bethesda. He was 18.
To those in our Merrill College community who personally knew Enzo, particularly fellow sports journalism students who worked with Enzo at The Left Bench, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Though some of us may not know him, we recognize how a tragedy impacts so many and cascades through our Merrill community. We pause to honor Enzo’s life and remember how every one of us makes our community what it is. He will be missed.
Enzo’s father, Carlos, has visited Merrill College and served as an adjunct lecturer at UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business. We send condolences to the entire Alvarenga family.
For those who may be personally or deeply affected by the news of Enzo’s passing, we are offering support. We recommend that you contact the University Counseling Center, which is operating throughout the summer, or the Dean of Students (301-314-8507).
Enzo enrolled in Merrill College after graduating from the Rochambeau French International School in Bethesda. He was fluent in French and Spanish. Enzo joined a small group of Merrill’s sports journalism students in April on a trip to New York City sponsored by The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. They visited professional sports leagues, sports broadcast newsrooms and sports journalism executives. In addition to his coursework, Enzo covered men’s soccer for the student publication The Left Bench.
“Enzo had the qualities of a fine journalist,” said Mark Hyman, director of The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. “He was interested, curious, a very good listener. Sports were a passion, but in our conversations his love of music and arts also stood out. This is a heartbreaking loss.”
I will remember Enzo as an outgoing, cheerful, enthusiastic presence in Knight Hall. He had a certain panache that we will miss. I will think of the future he might have had traveling the world as an international soccer journalist.
The Alvarenga family has shared that all members of the Merrill College community who wish to attend are welcome at Enzo's memorial service at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 9, at St. Augustine's Church on V Street in Washington, D.C. Alternatively, you can watch it online at vimeo.com/event/2188080.
The university is in contact with Enzo’s family and we will consult with them about ways to remember him when our faculty and students return to campus in the fall. Thank you for supporting one another as we grieve and remember together.
Dean, Philip Merrill College of Journalism
- Merrill College