Junior Luke Stalker Passes Away in Paris, France on a Colgate Study Group


Junior (Peter) Luke Stalker died on Sunday, March 10 after falling from a balcony at a Paris hotel where he had been traveling with the Geneva study group. Stalker was from Jackson, Wyoming, an International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies double concentration, as well as a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

“It is a heart wrenching and life changing process to experience the death of a friend and a brother. There was no preparation for this event; no means to prepare. Coming to terms with this accident is no easy feat for our house and our community,” President of Phi Delta Theta junior Micky Silverman said. “However, with our memories, each other, and Colgate and all her resources, we are learning to memorialize a great man instead of show anger to an atrocious situation.”

An investigation done by French authorities concluded that Luke’s death was accidental. After awaking from a nap, Stalker went out to the balcony of his hotel room for a cigarette where he fainted, falling over the balcony as a result. 

Students close to Luke first heard about the death through a Facebook post on his wall by his parents following his death.

“Luke..you are so loved and will be so missed by us…..To all of Luke’s friends; Luke died today in Paris, France while on a Colgate program abroad. We love our son so much and know that he will be missed by so many,” Peter and Anne Stalker said. 

The news was sent out in a Campus distribution on Monday, March 11. Counseling services and community support were provided to any students or faculty still on campus during the mid-term recess.

“I think the thing a lot of folks don’t realize is how deeply the faculty and staff here care about the students, and for them it’s a really big deal as well,” University Chaplain and Catholic Minister Mark Shiner said. “With so many of Luke’s friends scattered abroad I’ve spent lots of time checking in with people even via Skype, Facebook and Gchat, which has been both helpful and a bit odd.”  

A memorial service was held at the Stalker residence on Saturday, March 16. Friends, family and school officials were in attendance.

“It was an honor for me to represent Colgate at Luke’s memorial in Jackson,” Associate Vice President and Deans of Students Scott Brown said. “It was important that we were able to communicate in person, from our family to theirs, what an important person Luke was to many here, and how deeply he would be missed.”

The service was live-streamed for any and all to watch. A school-wide memorial service will be held for Stalker on Monday, March 25 in the Memorial Chapel and counseling services remain available to students in need.

“Losing Luke has been extraordinarily difficult. We’ve all grown so close over the past two months to the point that we feel like a family. It has been indescribably hard, but we’ve been extremely grateful for the amount of support that fellow classmates, friends and teachers have showed, and will continue to live each day here to the fullest because that’s how Luke lived his life and that’s how he would have wanted us to live ours,” junior Morgan McCollum said.

Contact Will Hazzard at

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