Wooster campus mourns loss of senior Teague Curless

WOOSTER, OH (Aug. 24)—Wooster senior Teague Curless is being remembered as an exceptional student, and wonderful peer and friend to many. 

Curless, 21, of Lexington, KY, passed away early Tuesday morning after an automobile accident on State Route 585 near Smithville, Ohio. A double major in mathematics and physics with near a 4.0 gpa, Teague was starting his senior year at Wooster.

“We are heartbroken by this tragic loss,” said Sarah Bolton, president of The College of Wooster. “Teague was admired and loved by so many here at Wooster, and he will be greatly missed.”

Teague was passionate about nonlinear dynamics and studying patterns, and had expressed plans to pursue an advanced degree. He is remembered by his advisors as “thoughtful, funny, and creative” and “intrigued by many things.”

“Teague was thoughtful, funny, and creative,” said his advisor Professor of Physics Susan Lehman.  “He struck me right away the first day of introductory physics in his first year when he raised his hand near the end of class and asked for my personal story about how I got into physics. I’ve never had a student ask a question quite like that before, but he sparked a great discussion that day and changed the way I do the first day of class.”

She added, “Last spring in Junior IS, he was working on an independent project in lab, and we had so many wonderful, funny, wide-ranging conversations working together to analyze the system he was investigating. He was always engaged and thoughtful and kind.”

Associate Professor of Physics Cody Leary, who was to serve as Teague’s faculty mentor for Senior Independent Study (I.S.) said he was “grieved that all of our relationships with Teague have been tragically cut short,” adding, “He was a pleasure to have in class, and I was absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to work even more closely with him this year as his senior IS advisor.”

In addition to excelling in the classroom, Teague worked as a tutor and teaching assistant in the physics department and served as a STEM Zone intern, supporting the academic success of introductory STEM students from underrepresented groups.

Kara Melrose, Teague’s STEM Zone supervisor, remarked on his passion for physics, his work ethic and dedication to helping others. “Teague was a gift to the college. He truly enjoyed physics and had a passion for helping others understand and appreciate it as well. I will miss his thoughtful insights, dedication to his work, and his sense of humor. He will be greatly missed.”

A memorial service for Teague is planned for Sunday, Aug. 27 in Lexington, Ky. His family welcomes anyone from Wooster to join them for the service. The College has arranged for transportation for any students, staff or faculty wishing to attend.

Members of the campus community wishing to ride the bus, should sign up here. Please plan to meet in Babcock Circle at 9 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 29. The bus will return to campus at approximately 9 p.m. that evening. Riders must be masked during the trip.

Details for the service are provided here.

There are plans for an on-campus event in the next couple of weeks. Members of the campus community who would like to participate in the planning may contact Erin Guzmán at eguzman@wooster.edu. With gratitude to the members of the community who have organized events and moments of support this week, we hope these events have provided comfort and space to honor and remember Teague.

Counselors are available at the Wellness Center. Call 330.263.2319 during office hours (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) to set up a time to talk. You can also connect with the Chaplain Erin Guzmán for support. TimelyCare for Scots is available as well and is a free resource available for all students. Use this link and sign up for support.