Dear Whitman Community Members,

I am deeply saddened to share the news that one of our students, Thomas Zbyszewski, was one of the three firefighters who died on Wednesday in the line of duty while serving on a five-person Forest Service engine crew battling the Twisp Fire in Okanogan County, near his hometown of Carlton, Washington. Tom was a junior Physics major and was very involved in the Theatre Department. Most recently he was the Mushroom King in the Instant Play Festival, Rusty in the Junglers (The One Act Play Contest) and the son in Three Tall Women. He also appeared as one of the Interjectors in Ukulele. He had a passion for the Chinese language and loved Whitman.

We will be sending out additional information at a later time, but Tom's family wanted us to let you know about this tragic loss.

If you or someone you know needs support, please feel free to contact Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students Chuck Cleveland, at or 509-527-5158, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Adam Kirtley, or 509-527-4449, or staff in the Counseling Center, 509-527-5195.

With deep sadness,

Kathy Murray

In lieu of flowers the parents have requested that donations in his memory be made to Harper Joy Theatre.