Death of McDreamy: Patrick Dempsey’s Bowdoin Grad Character at Heart of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Shocker

March 31, 2010, episode ("Sympathy for the Parents")

March 31, 2010, episode (“Sympathy for the Parents”)

There were gasps in living rooms across America the evening of April 23, 2015, as fans of the ABC hit show Grey’s Anatomy watched Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd die as the result of botched medical care following an accident that left the neurosurgeon brain damaged. As People magazine notes in a fictional obituary, Shepherd was a graduate of Bowdoin College.

October 27, 2011, episode ("Put Me In, Coach")

October 27, 2011, episode (“Put Me In, Coach”)

McDreamy’s Bowdoin connection began after a petition signed by more than 450 students and other members of the Bowdoin community was delivered to the show’s producers in early 2007. It was conceived and spearheaded by Cole Harris of the Class of 1978. Since then, and on several occasions, viewers saw Dr. Shepherd sporting all manner of Bowdoin gear, including a T-shirt, sweatshirt and a Bowdoin Hockey baseball cap, and the actor has worn Bowdoin gear in interviews and mentioned the College on The Ellen Show.

Patrick Dempsey H'13 wears a Bowdoin cap during an interview for a news segment regarding National Cancer Survivors Day and the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing, which he helped found. Image: WGME/CBS 13

Patrick Dempsey H’13 wears a Bowdoin cap during an interview for a news segment regarding National Cancer Survivors Day and the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing, which he helped found. Image: WGME/CBS 13

Life imitated art when Patrick Dempsey, the actor behind the character, was given an honorary doctorate by the College in 2013 in recognition of his philanthropy in Maine. In response to his mother’s battle with cancer, Dempsey co-founded The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing at Central Maine Medical Center in his hometown, Lewiston, Maine, and participates in the annual Dempsey Challenge, a running and cycling fundraiser there.

Patrick Dempsey H’13 shakes hands with President Barry Mills during  Reunion Convocation 2013

Patrick Dempsey H’13 shakes hands with President Barry Mills during Reunion Convocation 2013

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