Mourning the loss of RIT student Max Maisel

To: RIT Community
From: Sandra Johnson Ed.D., Senior Vice President for Student Affairs
Subject: RIT mourns the loss of Max Maisel, missing since Feb. 22

Today, with heavy hearts, the RIT family is mourning the loss of Max Maisel, a third-year professional photographic illustration student from Fairfield, Conn.

You may recall that Max has been missing since Feb. 22. Sadly, the U.S. Coast Guard recovered his body Friday evening in Lake Ontario. It was officially confirmed today.

Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Max’s family and friends. We take comfort in that there is now closure for them and they will be able to bring Max home. Max’s family has been preparing for this day and held a memorial service for him on March 27 in Bridgeport, Conn. Max’s father, Ivan, has shared his eulogy, “Remembering Max”: Today, Max’s family again expressed their gratitude to our community during this difficult time.

Since learning of Max’s disappearance, members of the Division of Student Affairs have been offering assistance to the family and students. RIT would also like to thank the Rochester Police Department for their relentless and unwavering search for Max in Lake Ontario for nearly two months.

Let me also take this time to remind everyone to join us in a new campus wide effort to enhance, promote, and sustain a culture of caring and support at RIT. Tigers Care began as a collaboration of Student Affairs and student groups to acknowledge the stress and losses that our community has endured this year and to acknowledge the impact that a caring and supportive community can have. Tigers Care is about reaching out to those who are facing challenges and directing them to helpful resources on campus and it’s about bringing people together through individual and programmatic efforts to foster greater understanding and support.

The end of the academic year is often a stressful time for all of us, especially students. For questions, suggestions, or to get involved in the Tigers Care initiative, contact us at