The College and campus community mourns the loss of Rhishav “Shiv” Choudhury, 22, a senior philosophy major from Guwahati, India. Shiv passed away while on a backpacking trip with Wooster’s outdoors club WOODS in Arizona’s Coconino National Forest.
Shiv was a beloved friend, brother and son who is remembered for his kindness and the interest and passion with which he approached every aspect of life. His love of debate invigorated class discussions and permeated his everyday interactions, whether he was discussing films, philosophy or Indian politics. According to a close friend, he would “listen to you patiently and then, like a true philosopher, give a reality check or provide a perspective that challenges yours.”
He will be missed for the fun and excitement he brought to the lives of those around him. He was known to pull people’s legs and give his friends nicknames; he once encouraged one of his friends to go on a roller coaster for the first time at Cedar Point. The cricket team will miss him as an opening batter and part-time commentator.
Shiv was an active member of several groups on campus, including South Asia Committee, the aforementioned WOODS club and Wooster Cricket Club. Nearing the end of his undergraduate career, he had recently had papers accepted at two universities’ philosophy conferences and planned on attending graduate school. According to a friend, he had begun writing a book about his views and thoughts. His academic career never interfered with his making the most of his life with his friends at the College.
On I.S. Monday, several friends in the graduating class wore shirts that read, “This I.S. for Shiv.” Lee McBride, Shiv’s advisor and the chair of the philosophy department, had received full drafts of his Independent Study. Shiv will pass I.S. and, with the work that he has completed in other classes, is considered to have met the minimum requirements to pass the semester and finish his undergraduate education. The College hopes that Shiv’s older sister Prerna will attend Commencement to receive the degree on his behalf. Shiv is survived by his father Jayanto, mother Radha, and Prerna.
Students, professors and other members of the campus community had the opportunity to meet with Shiv’s father and sister on Wednesday, March 18. Kittredge Hall was open to students on the last day of spring break, Sunday, March 22, for friends of Shiv to gather. The College plans to hold a memorial service on Monday, March 30.