NIcholas Paggi and his mother mother Helga
NIcholas Paggi and his mother mother Helga (GoFundMe)

BAYVILLE — An MIT graduate from the Jersey Shore fell to his death after what is believed to have been a prank at his alma mater went terribly wrong.

Nicholas Paggi, 24, from Bayville was climbing the school's famous "Great Dome" of the Barker Engineering Library when he came down the side of one of the roofs and slipped trying to go back up the other side, his mother Helga Paggi told CBS Boston, and was found in the bushes below.

Barker Engineering Library at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Barker Engineering Library at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts (William B. Plowman/Getty Images)

Climbing the dome is a common prank among students, according to the report. The New York Post reported Paggi's death has been ruled accidental by the Middlesex County District Attorney's office

Paggi was valedictorian of the Class of 2011 at Donovan Catholic High School in Toms River, and graduated from MIT in 2015 with degrees in Theoretical Physics and Computer Science, according to his obituary. He was working at a company called Ab Initio in Lexington, MA for the past two years. Helga Paggi is a teacher at Donovan.

"Nick was first and foremost a scholar. He had an amazing aptitude for science and math and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge," a GoFundMe page created for a scholarship in his name read.

Ashley Regan on Facebook said Paggi was the "heart and voice" of the MDHS class of 2011. "The bright boy with the beautiful, brown, questioning eyes. What a sense of humor you had," Margaret Coughlin posted.

A wake for Paggi will be held at Anderson and Campbell Funeral Home on Main Street in Toms River from 7 - 9 p.m. on Monday with his funeral at St. Michael's Church in Toms River at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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