Ethan Townsend (1985-2009) and Jing Yin (1984-2009)

Ethan TownsendJing Yin

CU Physics commemorates the lives of two of its finest
September 10, 2009

The Department of Physics was stunned to learn of the tragic loss of two of its most promising doctoral candidates, Ethan Townsend and Jing Yin, as they hiked a trail in Jiuzhaigou National Park in the Sichuan province of southwestern China last week. As we mourn their untimely passing, we extend our thoughts and best wishes to their family, friends, and colleagues.

There has been extensive media coverage surrounding these unfortunate circumstances. KDVR News has posted a video of its touching news piece which can be viewed here (.mov file). Additionally, DenverPost, DailyCamera, and 9News have posted news bulletins.

Ethan and Jing both worked in the laser optics group headed by Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn. Jing received her BS from the University of Science and Technology of China. Ethan attended Stanford University, earning his BS in Physics and his MS in Mechanical Engineering.

The Department of Physics welcomes you to join us for a memorial and a celebration of the lives of Ethan Townsend and Jing Yin on Friday September 11, 2009 at 5:00PM in the Gamow Tower 11th floor Commons Room in Duane. This will be a chance for the CU community and friends of Jing and Ethan to gather to both mourn our loss and celebrate the meaningful lives they led.

There will be a memorial held for Ethan on Sunday, September 20th at 2:00PM in Ashland, OR at the following address:

Ashland Middle School in the New Gymnasium
100 Walker Ave.
Ashland, OR
A reception with food and drink will follow the memorial in the Ashland Middle School Cafeteria

A number of kind friends are offering housing or transportation from the Medford Airport – this info can be found by going to:

This dedicated space will be continually updated as more information becomes available...please check back regularly.



Jing Yin and Ethan Townsend Memorial Physics Fellowship Fund

The Department of Physics is raising money for a memorial graduate fellowship fund to honor them. There are now 2 ways to make a contribution:

1. Donations can now be conveniently and quickly made online at the following url (will redirect to the CU Foundation's webpage dedicated to Ethan's and Jing's fellowship fund):

2. Donations can be brought to the Physics office or mailed to:

Department of Physics, 390 UCB
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0390

Please make checks out to the University of Colorado Foundation.

We thank you so much for your generosity and contribution to the memories of both Jing and Ethan.

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