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Memorial service held for Elizabeth Shin

A memorial service was held last night in the MIT Chapel for Elizabeth Shin, the sophomore from Livingston, NJ who died April 14 after suffering extensive burns from a fire in her dormitory room in Random Hall.

The memorial began at Random Hall, where the sophomore class council organized a candlelight walk to the chapel.

The MIT service followed a Saturday memorial service in Restland Memorial Chapel in East Hanover, NJ, that was attended by 25 MIT students and about 300 other friends and family.

Nina Davis-Millis, Random Hall housemaster and MIT librarian, said she and a dozen students traveled to New Jersey on a bus chartered by MIT; about a dozen other students drove down. The MIT group included friends from Random Hall, the fencing team and fellow biology students, Ms. Davis-Millis said.

The service was conducted in both English and Korean, and was a moving tribute to a young woman who excelled in music, academics and athletics, she said.

A tribute to Elizabeth, published April 16 in the Newark Star-Ledger, said, "Like a teenage Midas, Elizabeth Shin seemed to transform every effort into something special. At West Orange High School, she produced straight As, graduating second in her class.

"A gifted clarinet player, she was selected for orchestras representing New Jersey and the Northeast, performing at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York. She found time even for athletics, wielding a foil with precision in the sport of fencing.

"Shin was working to extend that string of successes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A sophomore majoring in biology, the 19-year-old student appeared well on her way when tragedy intruded," said the report.

The cause of the April 10 fire remains under investigation by the Cambridge Fire Department.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 26, 2000.

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