Fordham University student to be honored with posthumous degree after falling from clock tower

by Kim Boateng Posted on April 16th, 2019

New York City: Fordham University is mourning the loss of Sydney Monfries, a student who fell to her death from the campus clock tower just weeks before her graduation. Just hours after her death, the office of Fordham University’s president announced that Sydney Monfries would be honored with a posthumous bachelor’s degree.

University President Joseph M. McShane, S.J. informed students, faculty and staff about Monfries’ death in an email Sunday evening. “There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise — and mere weeks from graduation,” McShane wrote in the email. “Fordham will confer a bachelor’s degree upon Sydney posthumously, which we will present to her parents at the appropriate time.”

“I know you join me in keeping Sydney’s family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers. And also know that you are in mine,” McShane wrote.

A mass for Monfries will be held at the University Church Monday at 7 p.m., according to the email. Funeral arrangements will be shared with the Fordham community as soon as the university has them.

Monfries and friends went to the top of the iconic campus clock tower around 3 a.m. on Sunday, apparently trying to take a picture. University officials said Monfries died after losing her footing and falling some 30 feet onto a landing below.

University officials are investigating how the students gained access to the tower, according to an email from Fordham Public Safety.

In his first email following the incident, McShane urged students “to be kind to one another, and to yourselves, in the days that follow.” He also listed resources for grieving students. “Pease don’t hesitate to use them: no matter how you reach out, I promise you someone will be there to listen,” he wrote.

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