Catholic University Mourns Student Daniel Anderl

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By: Jeremy Perillo

Catholic University mourns the loss of one of its own, rising junior Daniel Anderl.

A gunman opened fire inside the Anderl family home on Sunday evening, killing Daniel and critically wounding his father, Mark. Since the initial reports of the attack, Mark is reported to be in stable condition. Daniel’s mother, U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas, was unharmed in the attack.

University President John Garvey announced Anderl’s death on Monday morning in an email to the campus community.

“I was shocked last night to hear news of Daniel Anderl’s tragic death Sunday evening in New Jersey,” said Garvey. “Daniel was a rising junior, enrolled for classes beginning in the next few weeks. He turned 20 last week. We all mourn and grieve this loss to our University community.”

Anderl hailed from North Brunswick, NJ and was a rising junior studying philosophy at Catholic University. He was a member of the CUA Pre-Law Society, intramural basketball, and an exceptional fan in the CUA student section at athletic games.

Despite the university having remained apart for the past several months, a result of the coronavirus pandemic and summer vacation, Daniel’s friends and fellow classmates are making up for that lapse in connection by embracing social media. From posts celebrating Daniel’s life and friendship to a communal Google Slides presentation showcasing the incredible memories shared with him, it is clear that Daniel leaves behind a community in which he was profoundly loved and cherished.

“Dan had a big heart, a positive attitude, and a memorable smile,” said Gerald Sharpe, a friend of Daniel’s. “He was my neighbor freshman year when we both lived in Flather Hall. I’ll never forget him coming by to discuss current events, philosophy LCs, or plans for the weekend. He will be dearly missed by us all.”

Austin Nappi, a friend of Daniel’s from before starting college, expressed how fortunate he was to have been able to grow their friendship during their time at Catholic University together.

“He was always generous, vibrant, and joyful,” said Nappi. “If Dan was around, you knew the people in his presence would be smiling and laughing.”

One of Daniel’s close friends, Matt Ziegler, remarked on Daniel’s embrace of love and friendship, and how he manifested unconditional love to those around him.

“I think Dan’s friends, parents, and dogs would all agree that he was so so loyal,” said Ziegler. “I honestly have never met a kid who so quickly loved like he did. The love he gave and loyalty he showed were the two ways that I saw and still see Christ in Dan.”

Catholic University’s chaplain, Father Jude DeAngelo, offered a Mass for Daniel and his family Monday evening via Zoom.

Campus Ministry, the Counseling Center, and the Office of the Dean of Students have signaled their commitment to providing support to the Catholic University community during such a devastating time. 

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

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