Notre Dame: Student Falls To Death, Just One Day Before Graduation

Tragedy hit Notre Dame University early Saturday morning when 21-year-old William Meckling fell to his death from the roof of the Edmund P. Joyce gym. The senior had just one day until graduation.

The University released a statement about the death.

“Initial investigation indicates that the victim was among a small group of students who had gained access to the roof, wet from precipitation, at a relatively low point from outside the building.”

Meckling reportedly slipped and fell because of the wet conditions. None of the other students on the roof sustained any injuries, according to the Washington Post.

ABC News reports that at about 4 a.m. today, Notre Dame’s security personnel found Meckling’s body with the help of the students near Gate 7 of the Joyce building.

Efforts to resuscitate the student failed and doctors pronounced his death at a local hospital.

William Meckling was majoring in mechanical engineering and an active member of Notre Dame’s fencing team. He came from Centennial, Colorado.

His fencing coach, Gia Kvaratskhelia, said, “On the strip, Billy was a talented fencer and a determined worker on a very competitive sabre squad, evidenced by his earned monograms during the 2012 and 2014 seasons.”

“More importantly, he was a great friend to all members of our program. A true Notre Dame man, his kindness and warmth impacted each and every one of us — and makes his loss all the more difficult.”

He also said Meckling brought a “positive spirit, energy, and camaraderie” that helped push the team to greater heights.

It’s still not clear how Notre Dame plans to memorialize Meckling at the graduation ceremony, which will be held tomorrow on Sunday.

Reverend John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, released a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Billy’s family and friends after this terrible tragedy. It is a profound sadness for all of us, on this graduation weekend, to lose someone so young and brimming with promise.”

It’s also not clear why the students were on the roof Friday night.

According to Notre Dame University, the county medical coroner is working to determine the exact cause of the death.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]