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UC Berkeley Student Nicolas Leslie Killed In Nice, France, Attack


A junior at the University of California, Berkeley, was one of the victims of the terrorist attack in nice last week. Nicholas Leslie was 20 years old. He was in France on a study abroad program. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Ana Tintocalis reports.

ANA TINTOCALIS, BYLINE: Nicholas Leslie grew up in the idyllic seaside town of Del Mar, Calif., north of San Diego. It's here where his passion for the environment began, says Berkeley student body president William Morrow

WILLIAM MARROW: Picking up trash from the ocean in San Diego along the beach - and it kind of sparked in him a love and appreciation for making the environment a more sustainable place.

TINTOCALIS: Leslie was majoring in environmental science and wanted to change the world by developing businesses with a sense of social responsibility. He had just been accepted into Berkeley's elite Haas School of Business for the fall. The study abroad program he was enrolled in in France focused on student startup ideas. It was about to wrap up.

Family and friends say Leslie had a big smile and a big personality. They launched an intensive search for him when he went missing after the attack. Now learning of his death, Morrow says the community is beginning to process the news.

MARROW: It's incredibly, incredibly sad. Our campus community can grieve. It can mourn to reflect on Nick's life.

TINTOCALIS: Leslie's death comes at an emotionally draining time for Berkeley. The campus is still reeling from another student death earlier this month. Eighteen-year-old sophomore Tarishi Jain was one of 20 hostages killed in a terrorist attack while studying abroad in Bangladesh.

CLAIRE HOLMES: This has just been an extraordinary summer

TINTOCALIS: UC, Berkeley, spokeswoman Claire Holmes.

HOLMES: Never I don't think have we gone through anything like this.

TINTOCALIS: Even so, Holmes says Berkeley's overseas programs will continue. However, 14 students enrolled in the France program have decided to return home early. Roughly 80 other students chose to stay in France.

HOLMES: We're grieving with them, and when they get home of course there'll be lots of services and support that we will offer as these kinds of event - they stay with you for a very long time.

TINTOCALIS: Holmes says counseling will be offered to students both in and out of the study abroad programs. Mental health specialists will also be on campus throughout the summer. For NPR News, I'm Ana Tintocalis in San Francisco. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.