UPenn Freshman Track Star Jumps To Death; Reasons Not Yet DeterminedBy Staff Reporter
Madison Holleran, a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania track star, committed suicide by jumping off a three-story parking garage in Center City, Philadelphia, Friday night. The freshman jumped to death an hour after posting a photo of Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square at sunset on her Instagram account.
Holleran's terrible death sent a shock wave across her friends and family in her hometown Allendale, N.J. Her funeral is scheduled to be held Tuesday, Jan 21.
Bob Weckworth, a friend of Holleran's father (James Holleran), said that she was stressed out about her 3.5 GPA in the weeks leading to her death.
"People talked to her within hours of her act of suicide and there were no red flags, warning signs, nothing. This kid didn't have a boyfriend. There were no drug issues. There were no mental health issues in her background," Weckworth said, NY Daily News reports.
During Christmas break, Holleran, who was majoring in philosophy, politics and economics at the Ivy League School, looked and behaved differently.
"She was not happy at Penn, but the parents had told her then, 'Don't go back. We'll transfer. We'll look at other schools. There's no reason to go back, it's OK,'" Weckworth said.
Police officials have not yet revealed the actual reasons that caused her death.
Amy Gutmann, the University President, said that the campus community was 'deeply saddened' with the news of Holleran's death. She was an intelligent and loved student. The University postponed sorority recruitment out of respect for Holleran.
Steve Dolan, Penn's director of track and field-cross country, said that Holleran will always be remembered.
As a student at Northern Highlands Regional High School, Holleran was a recipient of several athletic awards in New Jersey. She was part of soccer teams that won the state championship twice and as a senior, Holleran was named The Record Female Spring Athlete of the Season. The award is bestowed upon high school athletes for their outstanding performance in a season.
"As our school community mourns the loss of Madison, we extend our love and prayers to the Holleran family as they grieve, and we respect their privacy during this extremely difficult time," Joseph Occhino, principal of Northern Highlands High School, said.