Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Sad Day for ND

A friend pointed out this article to me tonight. No one knows any details yet:

SOUTH BEND — Two students at the University of Notre Dame students died over the weekend in separate and unrelated incidents, university officials said.

No details were released Sunday by Notre Dame officials, and the identities of the students were being withheld.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the university, extended his sympathies to the families of the two students.

According to the South Bend Tribune one student was found dead in Dillon Hall. The other, I heard, was a graduate student studying in London though this has not been confirmed yet.

Keep these students and their families in your prayers.

UPDATE (Matt): Apparently, the student who died in Dillon Hall on Sunday afternoon was a resident of Siegfried. Further updates will be posted as information is released to the public.

UPDATE #2: From today's Observer:
One of the students, Connor McGrath, was a sophomore who moved to Siegfried Hall in January. He died Sunday morning or early afternoon, Siegfried rector Father John Conley told students gathered at the dorm's Mass Sunday night.

McGrath's death did not take place in Siegfried, Conley said. His address was the first official notice to Siegfried residents of McGrath's death.

Local news outlets reported that a student died in Dillon Hall Sunday. This was unconfirmed Sunday night by University officials, who also had not released McGrath's name.

A call reporting an unresponsive male at Dillon was placed to the South Bend Fire Department at 1:39 p.m. Sunday, a fire department spokeswoman said. The ambulance arrived at Dillon at 1:53 p.m. and did not make a transport, she said.

No name has been released in the second death, but a number of dorm rectors said the student was not an undergraduate.
UPDATE #3: The following email was just received by the student body:
Dear Students,

As you may know, this past weekend we lost two members of the Notre Dame family.

We will gather for a Memorial Mass to honor the lives of Timothy R. Aher and Connor P. McGrath on Tuesday, February 19, 2008, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at 10:00 PM. Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., University President, will preside.

All are invited to join together to pray for Tim and Connor, their families, and their friends.

Fr. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Also, here is the full text of an official statement posted to the Notre Dame newswire:

Notre Dame releases names of students who died over the weekend

By: Dennis Brown
Date: February 18, 2008

The University of Notre Dame today (Feb. 18) released the names of two students who died in unrelated incidents over the weekend.

Timothy R. Aher, a second year Notre Dame Law School student from Brookfield, Conn., died tragically and unexpectedly Sunday (Feb. 17) in Ilford, England, a suburb of London. He was enrolled in the law school’s London Law Programme. Aher was 25.

Connor P. McGrath, a sophomore from Oklahoma City, died Sunday on campus.

A resident of Siegfried Hall, he had spent the night in the room of a friend in Dillon Hall, where he previously had resided. His body was discovered by friends at approximately 1:40 p.m.

Consistent with the University’s protocol, Notre Dame Security Police requested assistance from a St. Joseph County police investigative unit. Investigators from the unit and the county’s deputy coroner made a preliminary evaluation, pending an autopsy today, that the death appeared to be from natural causes, possibly related to McGrath’s history of diabetes.

McGrath intended to major in business. He was 20.

A memorial Mass for both students will take place at 10 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 19) in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president, will preside. The homilist will be Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., vice president for student affairs. Words of remembrance for Aher will be offered by Rev. John J. Coughlin, O.F.M., professor of law, and words of remembrance for McGrath will be offered by Rev. Peter M. McCormick, C.S.C., rector of Keough Hall.


Rachel said...

These two members of the Notre Dame family are both in my prayers.

I am hearing at this point that the person who died on campus apparently suffered from a pre-existing medical condition which perhaps was the cause of death. While we can't know for sure at this time, I think it's important to communicate that no one on campus was in danger at any time.

On a related note, it is sad to see the angry and suspicious comments left on the various South Bend-area news sources reporting this story tonight. Many, many readers are attacking NDSP and asserting that it should not be left in charge of any 'investigation'. This strikes me as quite inappropriate at this point...

Anonymous said...

Very sad news. Please keep the families in your prayers, as well as the students' friends who I am sure are feeling the loss as well.

Anonymous said...

Rachel -- yes, it is both disgusting and bizarre that people would hijack the SBT comments thread to make some ridiculous point about ND. I understand that many SB residents bear a certain resentment toward the university and its students, but come on...

Anonymous said...

The McGrath family of OKC is an amazing family. Please do not say unkind things and jump to conclusions about anything. Conner was loved so very much and will be so very missed. He was an amazing young man with so many talents and such a brillant mind. He is be so very missed.

Greer Hannan said...

Please especially keep Notre Dame's London graduate and undergraduate programme in your prayers. This is obviously very sad and hard for the whole Notre Dame family, but especially for those in London right now.