Josh Balara ’24 dies at the age of 21

Balara, who played as an attacking lineman on the Dartmouth football team, was “gentle, calm and thoughtful with a subtle sense of humor and a love of Legos”.

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 3/18/23 9:02 p.m

Breaking News Football

Josh Balara ’24, a student from Shavertown, Pennsylvania, died March 16 after an illness, the college’s dean, Scott Brown, wrote in an email to the Dartmouth community.

According to a fundraiser started on his behalf, Balara was diagnosed with adrenal cancer in July. He was surrounded by family and loved ones when he died, Brown wrote.

At Dartmouth, Balara played as an attacking lineman on the Dartmouth football team and was a member of the Gamma Delta Chi fraternity, according to the Dartmouth Sports website and Brown’s email. On Balara’s Dartmouth football squad page, he wrote that prior to his senior year of high school, he attended college camp, played the saxophone and had a “strong interest in technology.”

“He was known to be gentle, calm and thoughtful with a subtle sense of humor and a love of Legos,” Brown wrote. “Josh loved football at Dartmouth and his manager described him as dedicated, selfless and committed to his team, his teammates and the programme.”

Balara graduated from Dallas High School in Pennsylvania, where he played both lacrosse and football, Brown wrote. According to The Dallas Post, Balara was a starting line player on his high school’s football team that played for the 2019 Class 4A PIAA State Championship. In his senior year, he was also selected for the Pennsylvania Football Writers Class 4A All-State team, according to the article.

For students, emergency counseling services are available 24 hours a day at (603) 646-9442 and through the Department of Safety and Security at (603) 646-4000 for immediate assistance. Students can call UHelp — a service provided by UWill, the college’s free teletherapy provider — at (833) 646-1526. Students may also contact the college chaplain to arrange a confidential counseling session. The Student Wellness Center and Undergraduate Deans Office remain available resources for undergraduate students.

Additional support services will be available when students return to campus next week, according to Brown’s email.

This article will be updated as more details become available and a full obituary will be released in the near future. If you have a memory to share, please contact [email protected]

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