, Newburyport, MA


October 23, 2013

Salem State University mourns death of teacher

Colleen Ritzer was a student in school's graduate program

SALEM — Salem State University President Patricia Meservey sent the following message to the campus after learning of the death of Colleen Ritzer, a student in the school's graduate program:

Dear Campus Community,

It is with deep sadness that I inform you that Colleen Ritzer, a student in our graduate school, has been the victim of a violent crime. Colleen was a teacher at Danvers High School and was found dead earlier today in the woods near the school.

Colleen was a bright and vibrant student in the School Counseling masters’ degree program. As a dedicated teacher, Colleen wanted to work with and help children with special needs. She believed children have much to offer and often do not realize how special they are as individuals. In her application to Salem State she said she was dedicated to “helping students in times of need.”  As a community we reach out to Colleen’s family and all of the dedicated teachers in the Danvers school system, as well as the other surrounding districts – many of whom have attended Salem State University.

Traumatic events such as these impact us all in different ways. There are counseling services available to all in our community and I urge you to take advantage of those services if you feel you need help. Counseling and Health Services is available to provide counseling and stress management for students. You can walk into the office located in the Ellison Campus Center or call to make an appointment at 978.642.6413. Campus Ministries is also available and Reverend Biddle can be reached at 978.542.6129. For faculty and staff free counseling is available through the Employee Assistance Program. Call the Wellness Corporation at 800.828.6025.

Again, please join me in keeping Colleen’s family and friends in your thoughts. We will let you know about  memorial services planned to honor Colleen.


Patricia Meservey Maguire


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