In Memoriam: Benjamin Gupta

December 20, 2011

Graduate student remembered for dedication to U.S.-India relations.

GW law and business student Benjamin Kane Gupta, 28, died unexpectedly Monday of unknown causes according to his family. He was scheduled to graduate with a joint J.D./M.B.A. degree in May 2012.

Mr. Gupta attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Boston University, graduating cum laude in 2006 with a B.A. degree in economics and psychology. He worked in the U.S. Department of State as a partnership coordinator on the Global Partnership Initiative. Mr. Gupta had previously worked as a staff assistant in the office of then-U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.).

“We were stunned to hear of Ben’s passing, and I am deeply saddened by the loss of one of our stand-out students,” said GW School of Business Dean Doug Guthrie. “Ben embodied our values at George Washington with his commitment to public service and passion for international engagement. A devoted and spirited student, Ben’s humor and contributions will be deeply missed by the entire GW community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gupta family, his classmates and his friends during this difficult time.”

Law School Dean Paul Schiff Berman called Mr. Gupta one of the school’s most dynamic students. “To hear him talk about the importance of combining J.D. and M.B.A. degrees was to understand how much he loved his studies and how excited he was to pursue his future path at the intersection of law and business. Ben's sudden death is simply unfathomable, and the Law School community is devastated. We are so sad for his family, friends and colleagues and offer our support.”

Mr. Gupta was a friendly, engaging person who was dedicated to his law studies at GW, said Susan Karamanian, associate dean for international and comparative legal studies and professorial lecturer in law at the Law School and a longtime friend of Mr. Gupta’s family.

“Ben had a lively, generous spirit that was apparent upon our first meeting. He loved people and life,” she said. He took a leadership role in organizing a student trip to the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur in spring 2010, and his dedication to building strong connections with India was clear, she said.

Mr. Gupta is survived by his mother, Bonnie Gupta; his father, Vinod Gupta; his father’s wife, Laurel Gottesman-Gupta; and two brothers, Jess and Alexander.

There will be a memorial service for friends and family at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22, at Joseph Gawler’s Sons Funeral Home at 5130 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the World Education Foundation, P.O. Box 27395, Omaha, Neb. 68127.

A memorial service will also be scheduled on campus in the new year.