University News

CIS staff member dies suddenly

By
Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Robert Addison, a communications technician at Computing and Information Services, died Monday after falling ill at work.

An ambulance transported Addison to Rhode Island Hospital where he passed away, wrote Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations, in an e-mail to The Herald.

“The University community was saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Robert Addison,” President Ruth Simmons wrote in a statement. “During his more than two decades of service as a network technician, he visited nearly every area of the campus, contributing in fundamental ways in support of the essential communications infrastructure at Brown.”

Addison had been working at Brown since 1989 and University representatives have contacted Addison’s family to offer support, Simmons wrote.

“He had some illnesses during the last year,”  Michael Pickett, vice president for CIS, said. “It might have been a heart attack. No one knows for sure. Everyone is just shocked.”

Reverend Janet Cooper Nelson, the University chaplain, will be providing bereavement support to Addison’s colleagues in the department, he said.

Daniela Stephen ’13 learned of the death from a custodian who works in her dormitory and who was a close friend of Addison. She was told that Addison suffered a heart attack while on a ladder in List Art Center.

She said she found it “outrageous” that the community had not been sent an e-mail about the news, the University’s precedent for student deaths.

A bereavement ceremony will be held later this week, Simmons said in her statement.

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