We were deeply saddened to learn that Stefan Sperling DS’92 died on August 10, 2016 after a brief but aggressive illness. He was 45. Stefan had only recently received his law degree from Stanford University in 2013. At the time of his death, he was an attorney with the San Francisco office of Baker & McKenzie, specializing in issues of data protection and security compliance.
Stefan was born in East Germany in 1971; he escaped to West Germany at age twelve with his mother and sister. After completing compulsory service in the German army, Stefan came to Deep Springs at age 20. He was a much-loved member of the DS community; he enjoyed children and spent one summer working as an au pair for a faculty couple. Stefan received his B.A. from University of Chicago, an M.A. from Stanford, and ultimately his PhD in anthropology at Princeton. He taught at Harvard (where he was a post-doctoral fellow in the STS Program at the Harvard Kennedy School), University of Humboldt in Berlin, and at Deep Springs in 2009-2010. His courses in science, culture and ethics were popular with students and he was an active participant in faculty matters and community life. His keen intelligence and easy-going humor were much appreciated.
Stefan was a talented medical anthropologist and received a priority visa from U.S. Immigration to live and work in the United States. He closely examined the tension between scientific advancement and ethics. His dissertation Reasons of Conscience: The Bioethics Debate in Germany was published by University of Chicago Press in 2013. A memorial gathering was held at his home on August 21st. He will be greatly missed by family and scores of friends.