Aug 24, 2013 05:30 AM EDT
Lehigh University Student Found Dead In Off-Campus Apartment
Hanlon MacDonald, a 19-year-old Lehigh University student, was found dead by her roommates Thursday evening in her off-campus student apartment in Bethlehem. MacDonald was a junior bio-engineering major from Albany, New York, and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
The Northampton County coroner said that they were not treating her death as suspicious. They have requested for an autopsy and toxicology test. Police officials believe that MacDonald may have died naturally of a medical problem.
"The Lehigh community has suffered a tragic loss this week with the death of third-year student Hanlon MacDonald," the university statement said. "As the shock waves ripple through the campus, we can anticipate the varied reactions people may have to this loss - and bring our attention to personal and communal healing....A personal connection with or referral to the University Counseling Service, chaplains, dean of students faculty and other members of the Lehigh community may be helpful over the next few days or weeks as an additional means of support."
Jordon Reese, a Lehigh spokesman, said that MacDonald was a bright and popular student.
"She was a bio-engineering major," Reese said. "It's a pretty difficult program to be in, so she was clearly a bright young woman. She was in a sorority here [Kappa Alpha Theta], and she had many friends on campus."
John W. Smeaton, vice provost for student affairs, described MacDonald as a model Lehigh student.
" This was a young, talented, very excellent student. It's such a tragic loss," Smeaton said. "She was just the kind of student we love to have."
"The condolences of the university community go out to her family at this very difficult time."
The tragic news came around the same time most students returned to campus for the fall semester.
"The loss of a friend at this age is a very confusing time for them," Smeaton added.
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