FSU Professor Remembers Former Student Who Died Overseas

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

Tallahassee, Fl --May 23, 2012--

FSU senior William 'Cullen' Klein died in China over the weekend 5-19-12 D while taking part in the schools' study aboard program there. It's a loss that has hit the FSU community hard, especially those in the Spanish Department, like Klein's former professor, Doctor Enrique Alvarez.

Even though Doctor Alvarez taught Klein for just one semester, he says Klein is a student he will never forget. Alvarez says Klein was an extremely bright and inquisitive young man, who was always asking questions, and just had a deep love and appreciation of other cultures.

"To have a student in a specific class that asks questions, who shows that he did his homework, that they go beyond wanting to get that 'A' to show a general interest in learning. That's fantastic. That's what I'm going to miss, " says Alvarez.

Chinese Officials are not saying much about Klein's death. But they do not believe foul play was a factor.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - May 23, 2012 -

A 19-year-old Florida State senior participating in the university's international program in China has died after a fall from a residence hall.

Florida State officials identified the victim as William Cullen Klein of Melbourne Beach. He was participating in a six-week program with the school's international programs in Tianjin, which is located just outside of Beijing. Klein was completing work on a double major in Spanish and Chinese language and culture.

University spokeswoman Jill Elish said Wednesday the university is awaiting a report from Chinese authorities on the exact circumstances surrounding Klein's death, which occurred May 18 at about 1:30 a.m. in China.

Klein was among three dozen students from Florida State and other universities who arrived in China on May 5 to take part in the program at Tianjin.


(CNN) -- A Florida State University student has died while studying abroad in China, a school spokeswoman said Monday.

Local law enforcement authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of William Cullen Klein, said Jeanette DeDiemar, the Tallahassee school's director of university communications.

Neither DeDiemar or the Tallahassee-based university itself offered any details regarding Klein's death.

At the time, he was with 36 other students in Tianjin, a large city about 140 kilometers (85 miles) southeast of Beijing, as part of the university's international studies program.

According to DeDiemar, the group left for China on May 5 and were scheduled to return on June 17.
Florida State student dies while studying abroad in China, school official says
-- May 21, 2012 --

(CNN) Klein was majoring in Chinese language and culture, as well as Spanish, the Florida State spokeswoman said.

On his Facebook page, in which his name is written in English as well as Chinese, Klein said that he knew 28 languages and dialects -- from Haitian Creole to Egyptian Arabic to Mandarin Chinese. His Facebook timeline notes some considerable travel in the past two years, including to Ireland, Spain and Morocco.

DeDiemar said that Klein is from Melbourne Beach, Florida, on the state's Atlantic coast, and his Facebook page notes he is a graduate of Melbourne High School.



“We are saddened to hear of the death of Florida State University student William ‘Cullen’ Klein. The Office of International Programs has been working with the family to provide assistance as needed. In addition, Florida State’s Victim Advocate Office and others have offered services and support to Cullen’s family and friends, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”


Tallahassee, Florida - May 21, 2012 -

A Florida State University student died while studying abroad in China with the International Studies Program, according to Jill Elish from the FSU Communications Department.

The student was William Cullen Klein. He was a double major in Spanish and Chinese Language and Culture.

Thirty-six students were a part of the trip that began May 5 and was scheduled to end June 17th. Local law enforcement agencies in China are investigating and FSU says the information they can release at this point is limited.

We'll have more for you tonight on Eyewitness News.

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