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The Source

Passages: Remembering Paul Epain

January 13, 2012

Dear Lewis & Clark Community,

It is with great sadness that we write to inform you that Paul Epain, a first-year student in Akin and active member of both the French Club and crew team, died near his home in France on Saturday, January 7. Details are still emerging about this tragic loss, but it is believed he was hit by a train.

Paul is survived by his parents, Jackie Epain and Laurie Tuller, and his brother Luke, a senior psychology major here at Lewis & Clark. Paul’s loss will be felt profoundly in our community and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and mentors. Below are a few thoughts from those on campus who knew him well:

The loss of Paul is the loss of someone who was a wonderful friend to so many on campus, a great rower and a smiling and friendly face in his dorm. He never hesitated to stop and say hello to his hall mates, make a joke and ask how they were doing. And although he will no longer be able to do that, his hall will always remember that positive presence. The Lewis & Clark community will miss his laid-back attitude, his fun personality and honesty. His loss is an especially great blow to those for whom he was a great friend, who learned from him and were inspired by him. His memory will continue to engender the great respect that the community has for him.” — Ksenia Girsova, Akin RA

Because Paul came across to me as relatively shy, I was somewhat nervous about thrusting him into the situation of rowing solely with the varsity squad. But what I mistook for shyness, I believe was a quiet determination. That determination and willingness to work, along with a wonderfully smooth and consistent rowing stroke, led me to select him to stroke our varsity 8+ this fall at the Head of the Lake. And what did Paul help to happen at that race? The varsity 8+ beat our conference rivals, Western Washington, by 20 seconds. If you take a look at the Pioneer Crew blog, the first picture is a beautiful one of Paul during the race. To me, that is a perfect snapshot of the Paul that I knew and respected.” — Jim Hilsentager, Men’s Crew Coach

Staff from Counseling Services (x7160) and the Chapel (x7085) are prepared to help you through this time of loss. We encourage you to seek guidance from our counselors and campus chaplains, your resident advisors and area directors, faculty and staff if you find you are struggling with this sad news. Informally, we encourage you to turn to each other for support and dialogue about this loss, and to talk openly with your family and friends.

Once Paul’s family informs us of their wishes, we will notify you about memorial service plans. Community members who are interested in helping to create a Lewis & Clark memorial gathering to honor Paul and celebrate his life are asked to contact Dean of the Chapel Mark Duntley (x7082).

It is in these moments that our community is defined by how well we support each other. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you during this difficult time.

Jeffrey Feld-Gore
Interim Dean of Students
Tuajuanda C. Jordan, PhD
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Chemistry