Charlotte C. Billingsley ’24 died on December 25, 2022, in Dominican Republic.
From: President Rose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2022 3:25 PM
Subject: Charlotte Billingsley ’24
To the Bowdoin community,
I write with profound sadness to inform you of the tragic death of Charlotte Billingsley, a member of our junior class who was killed the day after Christmas in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Charlotte’s younger sister, Campbell, was severely injured in the accident but is expected to recover.
This is an inconceivable loss for Charlotte’s family, for her many friends, and for the Bowdoin community. Her father, Jim Billingsley, is a member of the Bowdoin Class of 1984. Charlotte’s mother, Julia Billingsley, was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and died in August 2019, leaving Jim to care for Charlotte and her younger siblings, Campbell and Latham.
Charlotte was an excellent student with a passion for biophysics and engineering research. A physics major, she had plans to pursue a doctorate in biomedical engineering. Last summer, she participated in a ten-week program at the University of Pennsylvania researching optical sensors as part of the Internet of Things for Precision Agriculture (IoT4Ag) program connected to the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. Charlotte was also pursuing a minor concentration in Arabic and had spent the fall 2022 semester in Amman, Jordan, studying the language and culture there as well as teaching English to young Syrian refugees. In a note to her father after learning of Charlotte’s death, King Abdullah of Jordan wrote, “she was a wonderful and thoughtful person who touched all of us.”
As a first-year student, Charlotte participated in the McKeen Center’s Leading for the Common Good Program. She led a Community Immersion Orientation Trip to Presque, Isle, Maine, in 2021 and was a participant in several volunteer groups at the College, including Bear Buddies, the Bowdoin Public Health Club, and Bowdoin Bear PALS. Charlotte was a member of the College’s Student Admissions Volunteer Organization (SAVO). She was also a leader on the College’s rowing team. Awarded a gold medal at the 2022 New England Rowing Championships, Charlotte was, according to her coach, “the ultimate teammate in pursuing her competitive goals with quiet determination, humility, and a selfless attitude.”
Charlotte graduated in 2020 from the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, where she served as co-captain of the rowing team and as an admissions tour guide. She participated in the school’s Advanced Math and Science Research program and was also a recipient of a Hurricane Island Outward Bound School Leadership Award. At her graduation, Charlotte was awarded the Richard T. Beebe Prize for Excellence in Physics and the Peter Lance Anderson Award, one of Berkshire’s highest academic honors.
Charlotte was a wonderful and accomplished person who was deeply loved by her family, her friends, and by all of us who knew her at Bowdoin. With a life so full of promise, she was the best of our college, and her loss is inexplicable. Please join me and Julianne in holding Jim, Campbell, Latham, and Charlotte in your thoughts and hearts.