Vice President Lombardi offers condolences on death of Phillip Zukowski ’23

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that Phillip Zukowski ’23 was found deceased yesterday in the Ithaca Falls Natural Area. The Ithaca Police Department is leading an investigation into the circumstances of his death. Anyone who may have been in the area of N. Willard Way and Ezra’s Tunnel between the hours of 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 8 is asked to contact the Ithaca Police Department at 607-330-0000 or by using the anonymous tip form at

Phillip, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, transferred to Cornell from Grinnell College in the Fall 2020 semester. He had not yet declared a major, but was interested in computer science. He attended high school in Jamaica, Queens, where he learned Python through the Google Ignite computer science program at Columbia University. On campus, Phillip lived in Becker House and was a member of Phi Kappa Tau.

On behalf of the university, I offer my deepest condolences to Phillip’s family and friends. Please join me in keeping them in your thoughts as they grieve this unimaginable loss.

It is very difficult to receive news of a loss in our community. Support meetings are being scheduled for the Cornell community, as well as organizations that Phillip was most closely engaged with. I encourage you to take time for self-care and to reach out to your support system. Additional information about common reactions to grief and loss, as well as support resources are listed at the bottom of this message.


Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Community Support Meetings

A support meeting open to all members of the Cornell community will be held on Tuesday, May 11 at 4 p.m. via Zoom:

Members of Becker House and Phi Kappa Tau will receive additional information about support meetings for their communities.

Community Resources

Individuals can have a diverse range of feelings, needs, and reactions when facing loss. This information about Grief and Loss (pdf) may be helpful to you or a friend. Students in need of support can check out the wide range of resources within our Caring Community. Students looking for professional mental health support can call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 607-255-5155 on-call provider immediately by phone or to schedule an upcoming telehealth appointment with CAPS during business hours. Employees can also reach out for counseling support including telehealth appointments through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 607-255-2673 or 24/7 immediate phone support through eni Confidential Counseling Services (1-800-327-2255).