Columbia mourns the loss of Gage Bellitto

Gage Bellitto was a sophomore at Columbia College

This morning, Dean Valentini sent out an email regarding the recent passing of 19-year-old Columbia sophomore, Gage Bellitto, who died as a result of an opioid overdose.

Bellitto was a sophomore who transferred to Columbia College in the fall semester and lived in Carlton Arms.

You may read Dean Valentini’s email below:

Dear Students,

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Gage Bellitto, a sophomore who transferred to Columbia College this fall and was a resident of Carlton Arms.

Gage's family has requested that we let you know he died as a result of an opioid overdose. We are working with Gage's family to provide support and assistance during this difficult time.

The family will be receiving visitors today, December 29 at the Fred H. McGrath & Son Funeral Home in Bronxville, NY from 2:00–4:00 p.m. and 6:00–8:00 p.m. and will hold a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, December 30 at the Church of St. Joseph’s in Bronxville, NY at 10:45 a.m.

When we lose a member of our community, we are all affected. I encourage you to rely on your family and friends for support, whether you are on-campus or traveling, as well as to take advantage of local resources as needed. Counselors and advisers from across the University will also be here to support you, with extended on-call holiday hours through Tuesday, January 2 and regular hours in effect beginning Wednesday, January 3. Please see below for schedules, contact information and on-call availabilities.

I join the Columbia community in mourning this loss, and extend my condolences to Gage’s family and friends.

Sincerely,

James J. Valentini

Here are the resources available to you:

Columbia Counseling and Psychological Services — Today, December 29, all regular services will close at 2:00 p.m. with walk-in services available on Lerner 5 from 2:00–5:00 p.m. The CPS clinician on call, available after hours, may be reached at (212) 854-2878. Regular services will resume on Wednesday, January 3.

Columbia Health — Today, December 29, all regular services will close at 2:00 p.m. and will resume on Wednesday, January 3. Contact (212) 854-7426 for after hours services.

Office of the University Chaplain is on-call during the winter break. Email chaplain@columbia.edu to arrange a time to speak.

Berick Center for Student Advising — You may reach Dean of Advising Andrew Plaa at ap50@columbia.edu until the Berick Center for Student Advising reopens at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 3.

Residential Life professional staff — Those of you on campus may look for on-call contact information posted in your residence hall.

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