Posts Tagged “Tragedy”
Some tragic news: At 4:45 a.m., police discovered a man who had died of a gun shot wound in a car on M Street. Metropolitan Police Department Officer Mark Beach told the Washington Post, which first reported the story, that it was “an apparent suicide.”
After being found with a gun in his lap parked outside of an art gallery on eastbound M Street, the man was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Traffic on M Street reopened by 7:30 a.m.
Photo from the Washington Post.
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Early last night, Provost James O’Donnell notified the campus community that Kathleen Noel Benz (COL ’07) died Saturday in a traffic collision while visiting rural Alaska for a friend’s wedding.
“As an undergraduate, Kathleen was very active in Campus Ministry and served as a retreat leader, liturgical minister and Vice-Regent of the Catholic Daughters,” O’Donnell wrote in the e-mail. “After graduation Kathleen served three years as the Executive Assistant to Associate Provost Marcia Mintz.”
According to the Anchorage Daily News, Benz was riding in a car driven by Anchorage resident Daniel Fairchild when an oncoming truck crossed the center line of the road, causing the fatal collision.
“She brought so much warmth and life to the Provost’s office–whenever I was working at the front desk, she would invariably take a break from her work and come out to sit with me,” Paul Courtney (COL ’11), a student employee in the Provost’s Office, wrote in an e-mail to Vox. “We all loved and adored her. The world needs more people like Kathleen Benz; words cannot even begin to describe the tragedy of her loss. She will be sorely missed.”
A Memorial Mass will be held next week in Kathleen’s memory.
UPDATE (Wednesday, 9 p.m.): The Memorial Mass will be held on next Wednesday, June 9 in Dahlgren Chapel at 4 p.m.
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Professor Dorothy Betz, who taught at Georgetown University since 1972, has passed away. Prof. Betz was an expert on nineteenth century French Romantic poetry who was widely published and active on the Faculty Senate. Her husband, Paul Betz, also taught at Georgetown in the English Department until retiring last year.
“Dr. Betz was also known as a conscientious and hard-working teacher of the French language,” Sonia Jacobson, an assistant for academic affairs in the Provost’s office, wrote in an e-mail to the student body. “Always dedicated to her students, to the quality of instruction at Georgetown, and to the founding principles of the University, she was a steadfast member of the Department’s Curriculum Committee and the executive committee of Phi Beta Kappa”
Jacobson said that Prof. Betz died unexpectedly on Tuesday.
A memorial Mass will take place for Prof. Betz on Tuesday, April 20 at 12:10 p.m. in Dahlgren Chapel. In case of inclement weather the reception will be held in McShain Lounge.
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On Sunday, March 7, history professor Richard Stites passed away in Helsinki, Finland where he was on research leave, following a brief illness.
“A giant in his scholarly field, Richard Stites was also an unusually devoted and successful teacher and mentor at all levels of undergraduate and graduate education, and a source of inspiration to colleagues and students alike,” Provost James O’Donnell wrote in the e-mail to the Georgetown community that announced Stites’ passing.
Stites specialized in modern Russian cultural and social history. O’Donnell wrote that he had a substantial bibliography, curriculum vitae, and honors and awards.
“[H]e taught for a time at the US Army Russian Institute in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and he was Fulbright Professor at the University of Helsinki in 1995,” O’Donnell wrote. “In 2003, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Helsinki—a degree that came complete with a ceremonial sword that he afterwards wore with a combination of pride and good humor at Georgetown convocation and commencement ceremonies.”
Stites’s burial and funeral will take place in Helsinki, but there will be a memorial on campus later this semester.
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In late February, a violent and seemingly unprovoked act of violence in Southeast D.C. left a 14-year-old boy dead. An eighteen-year-old boy, who shot him in the back and fled the scene before the 14-year-old bled to death, was known to have a history of gun possession in the weeks leading up to the boys’ murder.
Last semester, both boys were members of the After School Kids program, a program run through Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice which places adjudicated D.C. youth with a group of Georgetown students who mentor them. (Disclosure: I was an ASK tutor for two semesters last year).
An ASK tutor who wished to remain anonymous confirmed that they were in the same tutor group. The tutor did not know whether they had met before they were in the program together but both “seemed fine” with each other during their time in ASK.
Voice News will take a look at the ASK program next week.
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Sad news coming off break. According to an e-mail from Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, College sophomore Jenny Faenza (above) died Saturday from chronic pulmonary hypertension.
There will be a prayer service for her at 6 in St. Williams Chapel. Olson’s e-mail is after the jump.
Update: There’s a Facebook group about her and pulmonary hypertension with 170 members. From the group, it looks like she spent the summer of 2007 recovering but was expected to be fine that August. It has four new members.
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Over at Purdue, a missing student was found dead—after two months—in an electrical transformer room.
“[W]ade Steffey apparently touched a “ceramic element” that connects an electrical wire to a transformer inside the room. The contact sent enough voltage through him to kill him.
“Norberg said officials apparently did check the room when searching for Steffey, but Steffey was behind a transformer. He was not visible from either an exterior or interior doorway, she said.
“On Monday, a utility worker was called to check the room after getting a report about a noise coming from inside. Purdue officials said she entered using the interior door, which had been locked.
“Norberg said she believes the utility worker might have gone farther into the room because she smelled an odor. That’s why she might have been able to find the body that was missed during the first search, Norberg said.
Say it with me now: Ughghghghghghghg. This is the kind of story that sends shudders through college students everywhere. Apparently, Steffey was looking for his coat one night when he stumbled into the room, which should have been locked. Even worse was the Purdue’s negligence in searching the room. Our sympathies are with Steffey’s family. And stay out of the maintenance rooms after the party, Hoyas.
Posted by Tim Fernholz, Managing Editor
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