Bishop’s University is in mourning after one of its students died during a group trip to the Dominican Republic.
Ben Houtman, 21, was vacationing near Santo Domingo along with about 30 other students from the university when he fell accidentally at the Hamaca Beach Resort, the university has confirmed in a statement.
“We are shattered and grieving the loss of our only son, Ben. At the same time we are truly grateful for the overwhelming support and love we have received from friends and family,” Houtman’s parents said in a statement.
“Ben brought so many amazing people together. We couldn’t be prouder of how he has enriched our lives.”
Although the trip wasn’t organized by the institution, Bishop’s University said its dean of student affairs, Dr. Stine Linden-Andersen, has gone to the Dominican Republic to provide support to Houtman’s family and the other students.
Houtman, a Vancouver native, was a fourth-year finance major at William’s School of Business at Bishop’s.
“We know that our loss touches many, many others and it’s comforting to know that in Vancouver, Victoria, Sherbrooke, Kingston, Montreal and beyond, friends and family are huddling together, sharing supportive tears and memories of Ben, a treasured young man who has left an indelible impression on all of our lives,” the Houtman family said.
The university is providing counselling for anyone who needs it.
Plans for a funeral have not yet been confirmed.