Saratoga Springs

2016 Skidmore grad killed in New York City terror attack

He's recalled as 'brilliant, humble, compassionate young professional'
Nicholas Cleves.
Nicholas Cleves.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A 2016 Skidmore College graduate was among those killed Tuesday in a terrorist attack in New York City.

Nicholas Cleves, 23, studied computer science at Skidmore and earned his degree last year. He worked as a software engineer for a Saratoga Springs-based software company, where he started as an intern in 2016 and was hired full time upon graduation. 

“Working with Nicholas was always a treat, thanks to his mirthful personality combined with a willingness to take on any challenge,” Alex Silverstein, president of Unified Digital Group, wrote in a statement posted Wednesday evening to the company’s website. “Nicholas had a deep sense of loyalty, not just to the company but to his family. He was mature well beyond his years.”

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After college, Cleves moved back to New York City, where he grew up, according to Cleves’ Facebook page. He graduated from Elisabeth Irwin High School in Manhattan.

Cleves was the only New Yorker killed in the attack that claimed eight lives and injured about a dozen other people, according to the New York Post. His mother, Monica Missio, graduated from Skidmore in 1981, according to a letter Wednesday from Skidmore College President Philip Glotzbach.

Cleves also studied Italian and minored in physics while at Skidmore. He worked on the campus Information Technology Help Desk and as an astronomy tutor, Glotzbach said.

He started working last year for Unified Digital Group, a Saratoga Springs-based software company. Silverstein said Cleves began as an intern during his senior year at Skidmore and was hired full time upon graduation. Silverstein wrote that Cleves “was a light of his generation: a brilliant, humble, compassionate young professional.” He said during his first interview with Cleves the young man “ranged with ease” across topics from artificial intelligence and game theory to cryptography and Bitcoin.

Writing to the Skidmore College community, Glotzbach said that any terrorist attack in the world “touches each of us in our fundamental humanity.” 

“But the effect is more pronounced — and far more personal — when our community is directly linked to such a horrendous event,” Glotzbach wrote.

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