Brussels victim’s last Facebook post made curious connection to Syracuse University
The last online post by Sascha Pinczowski, one of two New York City residents identified among the dead in the Brussels terrorist attacks, has made Central NY residents and Syracuse University alumni curious.
The remains of Pinczowski and her brother, Alexander, were positively identified by Belgian authorities and the Dutch embassy after bombings in the Belgian capital’s airport and subway killed 31 people and injured nearly 300 on Tuesday. Sascha was 26 years old and Alexander was 29.
James Cain, the father of Alexander’s fiancee, Cameron Cain, told the Associated Press on Friday that Alexander was on the phone with their mother to let them know they were at Brussels airport to let her know they were on their way home to the U.S. Then a loud explosion was heard and the line went dead, Cain said.
Alexander and Sascha Pinczowski were born in Greece and raised near Belgium in Holland, according to the New York Post. Their father still lives in the Netherlands.
Sascha Pinczowski spoke five languages and lived in Manhattan, recently working as a production intern at the production and design company Shiraz Events, the newspaper reported. She had graduated from Marymount Manhattan College but also attended Florida State University, had a degree in business administration from Vesalius College in Brussels, and a hospitality management degree from Hotelschool Den Haag in the Netherlands.
Pinczowski’s final public post on Facebook, however, said she was an “honorary Syracuse alumna.” A Syracuse University graphic frame had been added to her profile picture on March 15 with the school’s logo and the slogan “Orange Nation.”
When friends asked about it, she explained in the comments that she was using the social network’s “GameFace” app to show support for basketball teams during March Madness, but Florida State wasn’t an option.
“I KNOW IT WOULDN’T LET ME CHANGE IT TO FSU THOUGH HENCE WHY IM JUST AN HONORARY SYRACUSE ALUMNA,” she wrote, adding the hashtag #FSUForLife.
The Seminoles had beaten the Orange a week earlier during the regular season’s ACC matchup, but FSU did not make the NCAA Tournament. SU made the tourney and plays in the Sweet 16 Friday night.
It’s unclear whether Facebook’s app would have suggested Pinczowski choose Syracuse because of her proximity to “New York’s College Team,” or if she chose it over the 67 other teams in the tournament for another reason. Florida State is currently only available as an option under the “GameFace” category for NCAA Football.
Her brother Alexander also lived in Manhattan. According to the AP, he was planning to start a craft-related business in Holland with his fiancee.
“Two of our own lost in the #brusselsattack. In memory of the Pinczowski siblings, we will continue to stand up to terror at every turn,” NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter.
Cain, a retired ambassador to Denmark, said the Pinczowski siblings were Dutch nationals who had been living in America and hoped to someday obtain U.S. citizenship.
“We are grateful to have closure on this tragic situation, and are thankful for the thoughts and prayers from all. The family is in the process of making arrangements,” he said in a statement on behalf of the Pinczowski family.
— Katherine Creag (@katcreag4NY) March 25, 2016