Daniel Williams - A statement from the Acting Vice-Chancellor
Release Date 08 February 2019
The University of Reading is continuing to offer support to students and staff who have been affected by the death of one of our students.
Daniel Williams, a second year Computer Science student, was reported missing after failing to return to his accommodation after leaving the Students' Union bar on Whiteknights Campus in the early hours of Thursday 31 January.
A 'Gathering in Hope' for Daniel was held at the Students' Union on Monday 4 February, where his friends, fellow students and staff could come together in solidarity and hope for Daniel's safe return.
Sadly, following an extensive search by Thames Valley Police and a team of volunteers, Daniel's body was discovered in the Whiteknights Lake on Tuesday, February 5.
A gathering in Daniel's memory took place at the Students' Union last night (Thursday), where students and staff could spend time with one another and reflect on the events of the past week.
Four books of condolence have been set up around the University campus, and flowers have been laid outside the Students' Union as a mark of respect.
Professor Robert Van de Noort, Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said:
"This is a very difficult time, and support is being offered to Daniel’s family, friends, fellow students and staff. Daniel and his family and friends are in our thoughts. I have met with Daniel’s family and offered our condolences and any assistance they may need.
"Daniel was a second year Computer Science student who achieved a good set of results in his first year, with particularly strong marks in Fundamentals of Computer Science, Programming and Software Engineering. As such, he was well qualified for the placement positions he had applied for in the computer industry, and had a bright future in front of him. He was popular amongst his group of friends and will be greatly missed.
"We have been in close contact with Thames Valley Police during their investigation of Daniel’s disappearance and we will continue to assist them in any way we can.
"I am proud of the way in which everyone at the University came together to support the search. The response to his disappearance, and support of the appeal, shows the high regard in which Daniel was held.
"I would also like to express thanks on behalf of the whole University to the police, those who helped with the search, and the thousands of people, including the press, who shared the appeal for information.
"I cannot comment on the ongoing investigation and want to stress that we do not yet know the circumstances surrounding Daniel’s death. I would not wish to speculate on these circumstances as this would be insensitive to Daniel’s family and friends at this time. Once the investigation concludes, we will review any findings and respond accordingly.
"I also ask that the privacy of Daniel’s family, friends and housemates is respected.
"It is important that we have the opportunity to come together and support each other. As such, teaching and other scheduled activities at the University are continuing. This provides our community with a sense of continuity and solidarity. We all respond and react differently though, so we understand if some colleagues and students do not feel able to participate.
"We ask that anyone who wants to leave flowers in tribute to Daniel places them next to the large tree in front of the Students’ Union on our Whiteknights campus.
"Thank you again for your care and support in the search for Daniel."