Boryana Damyanova

In loving memory of Bory Damyanova September 20, 1983 - November 22, 2005

The photograph above was taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2004. Bory and Thomas Singer, '06, travelled to Dubai to conduct research on "The Cultural Impact of American Multinational Corporations." Below is the autobiography written by Bory when she was enrolled in the 2003-04 EPIIC colloquium:

Boryana is from Sofia, Bulgaria. She is currently double majoring in International Relations and Economics at Tufts University. Her interests in business and her international background have formed her great passion for international management and international law. Boryana's future plans are to attend graduate school and receive a degree in both Business and Law. Then, she would like to blend them together in pursuing a career in corporate law. She is very ambitious and enthusiastic about what she does and what she wants to achieve. Working on campus at the Institute of Global Leadership and the Political Science Department enhanced her freshman-year experience. Now, in her sophomore year, she is continuing to work for the Political Science Department and also for the Off Campus Housing Resource Center at Tufts. She is also part of the Tufts Ballroom Dancing team, so if you like to dance... During the summer of 2005, Bory was employed as a Marketing and Logistics Manager for the start-up mobile media company Scootadz in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also attended the Tuck Business Bridge Program in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Bory introduced the 2003-04 EPIIC Symposium: The US Role in the World: Dilemmas of Empire and Nationbuilding. Below are some excerpts of her speech:

Dear Students, faculty, distinguished guests My name is Boryana and I am a student in this year's EPIIC class. EPIIC is an acronym that stands for interesting, overwhelming, challenging, eclectic, thoughtful, diverse, practical, and a million other adjectives. What it literally means is Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship, which is one of the main programs of the Institute of Global Leadership at Tufts. We, the students, call it simply "the EPIIC class" because it is so exhaustive and multifaceted that it is hard to capture its meaning succinctly.... For some, EPIIC might mean a group of involved people who care about how one can make a difference in the world. I am sure that for every single EPIIC student this class has an intrinsically different meaning. And that's the beauty of it. That is why we are together! We want to be eclectic, both in our knowledge and our personalities... Thus, as you can see, it is very hard to explain what exactly EPIIC is, especially being a part of the class and experiencing it every day. The only way in which I can approach this challenge is to utilize the facts and then maybe I can allude to some of the emotions, dreams, and perceptions that keep us together.... On behalf of the whole class I want to thank you for your appreciation, advice, encouragement, and belief that we can accomplish our dreams, to make them happen. Thanks for providing us with an example, thanks for inspiring us. What holds together the multidimensional facet of EPIIC is love and passion. Passion for knowledge, awareness, intervention, application of theory and experience in an effort to bring a positive result.... I hope you enjoy this year's Symposium. I hope it invokes challenging thoughts, poses noteworthy questions, and provides a variety of approaches to answer them. I hope it is a breath-taking experience, just as EPIIC has been for all of us.


We have received numerous emails and phone calls remembering Bory. Read about some of these memories... From Micah Kiel, fellow Washington Semester student, Fall 2004

Bory was, quite simply, a gem. In the classroom, I remember her tenacity; socially, I recall her warmth. My favorite memory with Bory... sitting next to her at a Washington Wizards game. In the nose-bleed section, each of us rested our feet on the chairs in front of us, and she told me about life in Bulgaria. On the way home, we got separated from our other friends in Metro lines. We decided to take a cab to save time and walked probably ten blocks before we found one. Always quick to converse, she discussed the latest union strikes with the driver; we wished him well in his efforts to secure better benefits. She paid the cab fare, and I promptly paid her back the next day. My favorite gift that Bory gave me... somehow, she made me feel more comfortable to being me. Oh, how special that is. Even in death, Bory, you have managed to bring people together...I witness that on this web site and in the news. Good work, my friend, good work.

From Nancy Keech, Bory's high school teacher in Sofia

I have just been told about Bory's death. I was one of her high school teachers at ACS in Sofia. Since then, we've kept in touch with email, calls - she even visited me twice in the small town I live in, in Ontario. It is devastating. She was a brilliant, loving woman. I remember her huge smile as she sit in class, enthusiastic about everything. She never worried about other people thought of her in the school - she went her own way with such integrity and passion. She won a public speaking prize for her thoughts on feminism, and I was honoured to go with her to see her give this speech. I will never forget Bory. If there is any memorial scholarship or other lasting tribute to Bory planned, please let me know. In my class, the students had a chance to write little notes to each other, talking about what they admired. I kept copies. Here is what Bory's grade 10 class said about her: Bory, I love your smile… A really ambitious and devoted person, always knowing what she is doing Always well organized So sweet - don’t worry so much about studying! You are great - smile! I like you for always doing what you think is right Talked to me when I needed, behaves friendly and seems to understand me You can really cheer people up You are always at the centre of things Enjoys helping people (gives notes to study, helps with homework) such a clever girl - I like that u r always smiling I like the fact that whenever someone needs help you are the person!!! A serious person who knows her aims and does everything in order to accomplish it.

From Yoni Bock, Bory's teaching assistant, 2003-04 EPIIC

To write a few words about Bory is like trying to contain lightening in a jar. There is no way to capture the energy. Rather, one must simply enjoy the few seconds of fleeting illumination and energy as it rushes by and then confine oneself to the memory of the experience. My knowledge of Bory was limited to the role of her teaching assistant the year she participated in the EPIIC class. As with all of the students, and Bory in particular, I found myself awed and challenged by each class member - a maturity far beyond the accumulated years of life and a desire to engage, inspire, and change the world for the better. With Bory, my recollections are of her presence rather than specific anecdotes - a never-fading smile, a regular "hey, how's it going!" after class, and a vibrancy and zest that resonates with me to this day. It was with stunned disbelief and profound sadness that I learned of Bory's untimely passing. Death is not a noun that comes remotely close to any conceivable notion of her. Yet, in the horrific acceptance of her death, amidst the sadness, I think with a smile about the bolt of lightening I was privileged to know. My thoughts, prayers, and deepest condolences are with all of Bory's family, friends, and community.

From Catherine Serrano, Tufts senior, '06

Bory and I have been good friends since we lived on the 2nd floor of Tilton during freshman year. We were to graduate together in May, and I was to help her find an apartment in my native city of New York. We never thought anything would get in the way of our plans. Her friendship meant so much to me, and I miss her tremendously. Though her academic and professional accomplishments are widely known, I feel it is important to express to everyone what an amazing friend she was. Bory was a loyal and caring, ambitious young woman who had the ability and determination to change the world for the better. My only hope is that these changes will still take place through the lives that she touched, and the friendships that she nurtured. Bory, I consider myself lucky to have had you as my friend, I hope I made your time here as happy as you've made mine. You will always remain in my heart, and will always be remembered. Obicham te.

From Mike DeBartolo, Tufts senior, '06

The death of Bory Damyanova is a crushing loss to the Tufts community. I was not close with Bory, but when I saw her picture in the Tufts Daily, I immediately recognized her as the bright, friendly student from a few of my economics classes. I always had a lot of respect for her because she frequently asked probing questions in class that helped everyone understand the material better. She was a great student and a great person. She will be missed.

From Kelly J. Eaton, Manager, GEPAC, GE Corporate

I had the pleasure of knowing Bory when she was an intern at GE in 2004 during her semester with the Tuft-in-Washington program. She was so brilliant and driven. Bory had a fantastic personality and was excited about every project and task she worked on. It was clear she had a successful future ahead of her. She will be greatly missed.

From Ivo Tsekov, Department of International Law and International Relations, Faculty of Law, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ochridsky"

My name is Ivo Tsekov, 25, from Sofia, Bulgaria. I am currently completing my MA studies in International Relations. I was extremely despaired to learn of Boryana Damaynova's death. I haven't had the chance to meet Bory in person but I do know, however, her mother - professor Penka Damyanova, who has been my teacher in English at the University of Sofia. I am sure she is very proud of his daughter's academic achievements. It seems unfair that God would take her away so soon. I would like to express my sympathy to Bori's family and to all her friends in Tufts University.

From Paula J. Driscoll, Tufts Political Science Department Administrator

Bory worked for us in the Political Science Department since 2003. The memory of Bory’s beautiful smile will remain in my heart forever. “Angels are students in Heaven and teachers on Earth”. Bory taught all of us and I’ll truly miss her.

Bory's work has inspired the Boryana Damyanova Award for Corporate Social Responsibility which is now given annually. For more information please visit this site. Bory's spirit and vitality touched us all. If you would like to share your photos, stories and thoughts of Bory, email the Institute for Global Leadership at