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Computer science coterm Norah Borus dies at 24

By and

Editor’s note: This article includes references to suicide that might be disturbing to some readers.

Kenyan international student and undergraduate computer science coterm Norah Borus, previously listed as a member of Stanford’s class of 2019, was discovered dead in her campus residence on Friday, the Santa Clara Coroner’s Office confirmed on Monday.

Borus died by suicide in circumstances of probable poisoning, an employee of the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s Office told The Daily on Nov. 4.

Borus’s death is the fourth student death announced by Stanford since February. A moment of silence was held for the four students at Sunday’s Commencement ceremony.

Borus declared computer science at Stanford in 2016 and worked as an instructor for public service organization CS + Social Good. She was 24 years old and living in Kimball Hall when she died. Her relatives left Kenya to visit the United States and confirm the cause of death, according to The Daily Nation. A fundraising campaign was launched to pay for funeral expenses.

In a 2016 Facebook post, Borus was listed by the Stanford School of Engineering as a member of the class of 2019. At the time, she was working with CS + Social Good to help develop an SMS-based platform for Sanergy — a Kenyan company “making hygienic sanitation affordable and accessible” — to communicate more easily with its customers.

“For us, the opportunity to apply our technical skills in a hands-on learning environment is one we don’t take for granted,” she and her group partners said in the post. “Using our knowledge to make a positive impact on the world is shaping us into the leaders we aspire to be.”

In 2013, Borus attained the fourth highest score on the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), a nationwide exam administered at the completion of secondary education in Kenya.

Norah Borus is the daughter of Peter Borus, a professor and polio specialist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute. The Daily has reached out to Peter.

This article has been updated to include information about the circumstances of the death. This article and headline have been corrected to reflect that Norah Borus died at age 24, not 25. The Daily regrets this error.

Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu and Julia Ingram at jmingram ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Holden Foreman '21 is the Vol. 257 president and editor-in-chief. He was the Vol. 256 executive editor (vice president). He was managing editor of news in Vol. 254 and student business director in Vol. 255. He hails from the city of St. Louis, Missouri and is studying computer science. Contact him at hs4man21 'at' stanford.edu.
Julia Ingram ’21 was The Daily's Volume 256 editor-in-chief. She is a New York City native majoring in English literature and working toward a career in news reporting. Contact her at jmingram ‘at’ stanford.edu.