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Golden Gate Bridge Suicide: Chinese Yale Student Luchang Wang Remembered for Her Warmth, Compassion

( [email protected] ) Feb 03, 2015 04:26 PM EST
Yale students, faculty and administrators paid their respects in a solemn memorial service held on Saturday afternoon in honor of Luchang Wang, who took her own life on Tuesday after jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Luchang Wang, a Chinese student who studied at Yale University. (Facebook)

Yale students, faculty and administrators paid their respects in a solemn memorial service held on Saturday afternoon in honor of Luchang Wang, who took her own life on Tuesday after jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

According to Rachel Siegel of Yale Daily News, those who were closest to her said that Wang "was a constant source of warmth and insight for those around her, despite her own internal struggles." Her sudden end left a hole in the places where she was involved at Yale.

"She looked to find meaning in a life and world she thought was hostile," Yale student Jonathon Bowyer said. "She positively impacted our lives. These were the times that made her most happy."

Siegel reported that eight people who knew Wang best shared personal anecdotes and memories during the service, which was held at Battell Chapel. Her friends spoke about Wang's selflessness and commitment to ensure that others were happy.

"She whispered softly, but she whispered words that were amplified by the hundreds of people that she touched," Yale student Soham Sankaran said.

Wang took up mathematics as her major at Yale's Silliman College. She was also involved with the tech community along with the Yale Political Union's Party of the Left, Yale Effective Altruists and the Yale Record; Siegel noted that these communities came together to honor Wang and support each other.

Finnegan Schick and Vivian Wang, also of Yale Daily News, reported that students remembered her as a selfless and giving classmate who cared deeply. Wang's close friend and fellow Effective Altruists member Tammy Pham expressed that sentiment.

"Her motivation in life was to make the world a better place," Pham said. "It's sad to see someone with such a pure love go like this."

Caroline Posner told Yale Daily News that Wang was soft-spoken and modest while demonstrating remarkable openness and intimacy. They first met each other through the Party of the Left.

"When she spoke at party debates, it was out of a sense of duty to engage the room, never a desire to hear herself speak, as it often is for many of us," Posner wrote in an email. "She was so ridiculously grateful for a life that was never easy or fair to her."

Silliman Master Judith Krauss called on the memorial's attendees to make a commitment to find life-affirming relationships and care for themselves in times of grief, according to Siegel.

"[Luchang's] burden has been lifted," Krauss said during the opening of Saturday's memorial. "You don't need to carry it anymore. Managing your own burdens will be plenty."

Siegel reported that Wang's character, in addition to her intellect, was celebrated during the memorial. Yale student Juno Pinder recalled a time where Wang tried to teach her how to say "How are you?" in Chinese; the phrase Wang taught her actually said "I am kind and smart and good and I deserve the world."

"We were so lucky to have had as much time with her as we did," Pinder said. "[She] was kind and smart and good and deserved the world."

Angelina King, who also spoke at the ceremony according to Siegel, said that the service was part of her healing process, adding that Wang had a multifaceted nature beyond what was represented.

"She was a complex character, stirring when she spoke softly, silent in her moments of fortitude, and her intelligence had its unique sense of humor," Xing said.

Siegel reported that following the memorial, attendees went to Krauss' home to share their memories of Wang over wasabi seaweed and ginger tea, which were both snacks that Wang had on hand and offered to others.

"She didn't lend me anything," former roommate and Yale student Alejandra Mena said. "She gave things to me. Thank you for being in my life."

Yale Daily News reported that Wang is survived by her mother, father and a younger sister.

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