News

James Orlando, junior, died from an overdose

James Orlando, a junior Fox School of Business student, was found dead in an off-campus residence.

Junior Fox School of Business student James Orlando died from an accidental overdose and was found dead Saturday morning in his off-campus apartment, officials said.

Philadelphia and Temple Police responded to a 911 call about Orlando on Saturday morning to a residence on Berks Street near 18th, university spokesman Brandon Lausch said.

Orlando was pronounced dead after police arrived to the residence, Philadelphia Police Officer Tanya Little said.

On Monday morning, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Orlando’s death on Saturday was caused by an overdose.

This is the second Fox School of Business student to die suddenly last week. Senior marketing major Michael Paytas died of an accidental overdose last Monday.

Orlando was an initiated member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of Zeta Beta Tau, according to a fraternity official.

“We join the entire Temple University community to mourn the loss of this young man,” Laurence Bolotin, the executive director of ZBT’s national headquarters, wrote in a statement to The Temple News. “We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

ZBT is not recognized by the university. Students are “discouraged from associating” with ZBT, according to the Student Activities website.

ZBT’s national headquarters is not currently investigating Orlando’s death, but is “focused on making sure the men who just lost a brother and friend receive the support they need,” Bolotin wrote in an email to The Temple News. He added that ZBT appreciates the support from the Temple community.

A friend of Orlando created a GoFundMe page called the “James Orlando Memorial Fund.” The page, created Saturday, has raised $1,800 of its $5,000 goal as of Monday.

“James was a carefree fun loving [sic] guy, he cherished moments with his friends,” the page read. “He was always first to crack a joke to ease tension and the first to make someone feel welcome.”

Many friends who commented on the GoFundMe page noted Orlando’s caring attitude and love for his friends.

The Temple News reached out to ZBT chapter members. Some did not respond to an interview request. Others declined to comment while processing the loss of their brother.

When asked whether Temple Police would investigate Orlando’s death further, a university spokesperson said he did not have “anything additional” to share.

University officials and Temple Student Government issued responses to Orlando’s death on Monday morning.

“We are extremely saddened by the passing of James Orlando, a third-year business student from Reading, Pennsylvania,” university officials said in a statement. “He was 20 years old. We grieve alongside everyone who knew James and encourage all members of the Temple community to think of and pray for his loved ones.”

Moshe Porat, the dean of the Fox School of Business, said in a statement that Fox is “saddened” by Orlando’s death.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with James’ family and friends, to whom we send our heartfelt condolences,” he added.

TSG also issued a statement, noting Orlando “We are grateful for the years we had with James and are heartbroken to see his time end so abruptly.” It also encouraged those who are impacted by Orlando’s death to utilize on-campus resources, like Tuttleman Counseling Services.

“These past few months have not been easy for a single member of the Temple Community,” the statement read. “To the family, friends, colleagues, coworkers, professors and peers of James: we mourn with you.”

Gillian McGoldrick

can be reached at gillian.mcgoldrick@temple.edu
Or you can follow Gillian on Twitter @gill_mcgoldrick
Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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