Evelyn Mae Sorensen ’25 has passed away at Middlebury College. She was found in her dorm room in Forest Hall after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Having arrived at Middlebury three years ago from Lincoln City, Ore., Sorensen was a double major in Earth and Climate Sciences and Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies. They also worked as a research assistant in the Earth and Climate Sciences department. Outside of the classroom, Sorensen enjoyed the outdoors and participated in the Middlebury Mountain Club, serving as a trip leader multiple times.
In addition to her studies, Sorensen was actively engaged with the town of Middlebury, working at local businesses such as Haymaker Buns, Little Seed Coffee and American Flatbread.
A message from President Laurie Patton and Vice President for Student Affairs Smita Ruzicka on Sept. 20 reflected on how those close to Sorensen saw her as “kind, caring, and exceedingly generous” to all. Patton and Ruzicka also shared how they were a “dynamic student” who cared deeply about social justice and environmental issues.
The message also noted that although the cause of death is still under investigation, the Middlebury Police Department has determined that foul play was not involved and there is no danger to the college or surrounding community.
In a post to the Middlebury College Community in Vermont Facebook page on Thursday, Sept. 21, Sorensen’s mother, Megan Sorensen, wrote an emotional tribute in honor of her daughter.
“We are devastated of her passing, and our hearts are broken. She was kind, intelligent, selfless, and always thought of others before herself. Those who knew her frequently commented about how wonderful of a person she was, and I know she will be incredibly missed by many,” Megan Sorensen wrote. “I have lost my beautiful child, my joy, my heart, my everything.”
The Sorensen family has opened a fundraiser for donations to create a physical memorial in honor of Sorensen at Middlebury, possibly at the Knoll, according to the fundraiser’s GoFundMe page.
In an email to the classes of 2025 and 2025.5 on Sept. 21, Junior Senators Afra Fairooz ’25 and Aniketan Pelletier ’25 offered their sympathy to those closest to Sorensen and asked the Middlebury community to respect the privacy of their family and friends.
The administration plans to work with Sorensen’s family on how the college may best remember her and asks the community to keep them in their thoughts during this difficult time.
The Campus plans to publish an article in memoriam of Evelyn Mae Sorensen with stories from family, friends and peers in the coming weeks. If you would like to contribute memories of Sorensen for this story, please email The Campus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan McElroy '25 (he/him) is a managing editor for The Middlebury Campus.
He previously served as a news editor and staff writer.
Ryan is majoring in History with a possible minor in psychology or English. He also takes part in Middlebury Mock Trial and Matriculate.org on campus. He spent this past summer working as a research assistant in the History department studying Middle Eastern immigration to New England.