Friends Remember UC Berkeley Junior

Family, Close Friends of Chemistry Student Lawrence Park, 20, Struggle to Understand His Apparent Suicide

Photo: Lawrence Park
Lawrence Park

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UC Berkeley student Lawrence Park was found dead in his apartment on Feb. 15. His roommate discovered him in what appears to be a suicide by hanging. He was 20 years old.

Friends said the incident came as a "total shock" because Park, a student in the College of Chemistry, was heavily involved in many organizations on campus.

Born in Los Angeles on March 3, 1989, Park and his family moved frequently before settling in Palo Alto, where Park attended Henry M. Gunn High School. Andrea Wong, a high school friend of Park's and a fellow UC Berkeley student, said Park was loyal and "very close with his friends."

Wong said his friends have remained supportive of each other throughout the ordeal.

"It is really encouraging and comforting to see the rest of his friends remain such a tight-knit group," she said. "It is the most uplifting thing."

Daniel Chung, who lived in the same apartment as Park, met him in Unit 3, where they were floormates their freshman year.

"He was the only one on my floor that I really connected with well," he said. "We bonded over the little things, like going to the gym."

Their sophomore year, Chung and Park shared a one-bedroom apartment. This year, Chung and Park shared an apartment with two other students.

"We would go to parties (and) Judo together," Chung said. "I picked up his hobbies, like watching television shows."

Though he said those in the apartment are doing better now, Chung added that last week was "extremely difficult" for them. But Chung said they have stuck together during their time of grief.

Chung added that Park had many friends who he thought Park would have approached to talk about any problems.

"It's really tough for all of his friends-he had a lot," he said. "It came as total shock. We thought he would have talked to us about his problems if he had them."

Kim LaPean, communications manager for University Health Services, said in an e-mail that grieving students should reach out to the Tang Center.

"Our Counseling and Psychological Services team provides immediate outreach to those affected by the death of a student (or staff member)," she said in the e-mail. "We proactively reach out to all close contacts. ... This counseling service is always available, but we make sure to promote it to the relevant communities as part of our outreach."

Alan Tsai, a high school friend of Park's, said in an e-mail that he will be greatly missed by his friends and family and will always be in their hearts.

Park's memorial service was held on Saturday at Newman Hall with his family and many friends from high school and the campus in attendance.

Wong said that news of Park's death even reached overseas.

"One friend who was studying abroad in Hong Kong heard what happened," she said. "She flew out for the service."

Chung said that things would not be the same now that his friend is gone.

"He was one of my best friends here at Berkeley," Chung said. "It is going to be really different not seeing him every day."


Contact Katie Nelson at [email protected]

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