Women's Rowing

    IU Mourns Loss of Former Rower Karlijn Keijzer

    Go Hoosiers! Karlijn Keijzer
    Go Hoosiers!
    Karlijn Keijzer
    Go Hoosiers!

    July 18, 2014

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana University has learned that Karlijn Keijzer, a doctoral student in the chemistry department in the IU College of Arts and Sciences, was among the passengers on Malaysia Air Flight 17, which crashed Thursday, July 17, leaving no survivors. Keijzer, 25, was a member of the women's rowing team during the 2011 season.

    "On behalf of the entire Indiana University community, I want to express my deepest sympathies to Karlijn's family and friends over her tragic death," Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie said. "Karlijn was an outstanding student and a talented athlete, and her passing is a loss to the campus and the university. Our hearts also go out to the families of all the victims of this senseless act."

    Karlijn Keijzer (pronounced "Car-line Kite-zer") was a member of IU's Varsity 8 boat during the 2011 season, helping them to a 14-5 record. She earned Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Scholar-Athlete honors as well as Academic All-Big Ten accolades following the 2011 season. A decorated junior rower, Keijzer participated in the European Rowing Junior Championships in 2006 and the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2007.

    "The Indiana Rowing family is deeply saddened by the news of Karlijn's sudden passing," Indiana head rowing coach Steve Peterson said. "She came to us for one year as a graduate student and truly wanted to pursue rowing. That year was the first year we really started to make a mark with the First Varsity 8 boat and she was a huge reason for it. She was a phenomenal student and loved IU so much that she stayed here after she earned her master's degree. Our condolences go out to her family and friends in this very tough time."

    Afternoon Update (2:05 p.m. ET)

    Comments from Mu-Hyun Baik, associate professor of chemistry and informatics and Karlijn Keijzer's doctoral advisor:
    "Karlijn was a bright, talented doctoral student, a diligent researcher and a dear friend to all of us who worked with her in our research group. She was a kind, happy young woman full of ideas about the future. She inspired us all with her optimism about how science will make Earth a better place.

    "Ms. Keijzer worked on several research projects, all related to improving human health. The last piece of research work she completed before heading out to catch her flight to her short summer vacation was preparing a computer simulation on bryostatin, an anti-cancer drug and a promising drug candidate for treating Alzheimer's disease.

    "We are devastated and mourn the loss of a brilliant, beloved member of IU's chemistry family."

    Extended quotes from Steve Peterson:
    On Karlijn Keijzer as a leader:
    "Karlijn was the `stroke' of the Varsity 8 boat for us. That is the person who sets the rhythm for the boat and everyone follows her. She was unquestionably the leader of the best boat we had that year. It was the first boat that got us into the national rankings and had a great season. It also helped propel our program towards the success that we had this past season and we all know that we can trace it back to that boat that was led by Karlijn."

    On her personality away from the sport:
    "Academically, she was straight A student so she was outstanding there. But her biggest strength was her personality on the team. Any picture she you see of her, she was always smiling or happy or joking around with someone. She was extremely supportive of her teammates and had a tremendous enthusiasm. She was exactly the type of student-athlete any coach would want on their team."

    Best Memory of her:
    "One of the things I remember most is at the end of each year, I sit down with the student-athletes that have finished their eligibility. When I met with her, all she wanted to talk about was the future of the program. She knew that we were headed in the right direction and she was genuinely exited about it. Then this past year, we saw that come to fruition and she contacted me and said `I told you so.' So she was as excited as anyone else for us as a program and the success we had."




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