Stanford junior dies in fall while hiking in Spain | News | Palo Alto Online |


Stanford junior dies in fall while hiking in Spain

Palo Alto High graduate was traveling in 'difficult, rocky terrain'

In order for all area residents to have important local information on the coronavirus health emergency, Palo Alto Online has lifted its pay meter and is providing unlimited access to its website. We need your support to continue our important work. Please join your neighbors and become a subscribing member today.

A 20-year-old Stanford University junior has died in Spain, apparently falling while on a hike with other Stanford undergraduates studying in Europe, the vice provost of student affairs posted on the university's website Saturday.

Mischa Nee, a Palo Alto resident, was hiking with other Stanford students on Friday afternoon near Mallorca, Spain, a large island in the Mediterranean, in an area described to Stanford's vice provost Susie Brubaker-Cole as "difficult, rocky terrain." His fellow hikers lost sight of Nee during the hike, and he disappeared. Mallorca authorities started searching the area late Friday and resumed Saturday, when Nee's body was discovered.

Nee was part of a group of Stanford undergraduate students studying in Europe over winter quarter visiting Mallorca for a short visit, Brubaker-Cole said. He was a computer science major at Stanford and was planning a minor in art history or studio art, she added.

Nee, who graduated from Palo Alto High School in 2016, held internships in graphic design at Opinno in Madrid, Spain; software engineering at Infosys in the Bengaluru area of India; and computer science tutoring at Breakout Mentors, a computer programming youth mentorship program based in Palo Alto.

Stanford is in touch with Mischa's family and other students in Mallorca.

The university community can find support in response to Nee's death through the following campus resources:

• Counseling and Psychological Services, 650-723-3785, which provides crisis counseling. Walk-in consultations are available during business hours and clinicians can be made available on call through the office's number.

• Graduate Life Office at 650-736-7078, office hours; 650-723-8222, 24/7; pager ID number 25085.

• Office for Religious life, 650-723-1762.

Residence deans can provide assistance to undergraduate students. More information can be found at

• Faculty Staff Help Center can provide assistance for university faculty and staff. More information can be found at


Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?


5 people like this
Posted by Ann Fitzsimons
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 29, 2019 at 9:00 am

Please forward this to the Nee family, if possible.
I lost my daughter in 2006 when she was 18 years old. She was working as an au pair in Paris France after graduating from Presentation High School because she wanted to take a break before going to College and also wanted to learn French fluently. She got locked out of the family's apartment when they went away for the weekend and she tried climbing from the 9th floor window to the 7th floor window on the outside of the building and fell to her death. She was just trying to solve her problem. Having a child die is inconsolable. After 13 years, I still think of Barbara every day. People don't know what to say to you. And the thing I always hate is when people ask "How many children do you have?" How are you suppose to answer that? My life changed after Barbara died and has never been the same. Plus, when you have kids, you think about them every day; how are you supposed to not think about them once they have died? You don't - at least I don't. The most helpful thing I can suggest is to find a grief group. I'm sane today because of the support of my friends, family and joining a grief group. The one I joined was the one through the Bill Wilson center - Centre for Living with Dying. I went for a year. Please think about it. My prayers are with you and take care. -Ann

2 people like this
Posted by K.S. Milway
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 29, 2019 at 10:36 am

This story broke my heart, not only because I knew of this young man a little, but also because the lost promise of any young person, their passions and gifts leaves a hole in our collective future. A life well-lived to any age is a precious contribution, and, too be sure, grief can be worked out picking up a lost one's threads of passion and weaving legacy. But the hole remains. My heart goes out to Mischa Nee's family, his friends and teachers. - a Stanford alum

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay up to date on local coronavirus coverage with our daily news digest email.

'A devastating impact:' The coronavirus claims Clarke's Charcoal Broiler, Mountain View's oldest operating restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 27 comments | 9,160 views

The first few seconds after awakening; before I remember the virus
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 3,586 views

Can you stay healthy without making more trash?
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 2,982 views

Coronavirus Food Safety Update + New! Insider Tips
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 2,718 views

Think about helping others in our coronavirus-affected area
By Diana Diamond | 7 comments | 2,715 views



The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details