Syracuse University student dies in Florence, Italy, after apparent fall from a third-floor balcony
Syracuse University student dies in Florence, Italy, after apparent fall from a third-floor balconyApril 10, 2001Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
MariAnne McDonald, age 20, a junior illustration major in the School of Art and Design of Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), died early Sunday (Italian time), April 8, as a result of injuries sustained from a third-story fall outside the home of her host family in Florence, Italy. McDonald is the daughter of Dr. Lawrence McDonald and Claudette McDonald of Berkeley Heights, N.J. The parents were traveling this weekend and through Monday, and were not able to be reached until early morning Tuesday (April 10). MariAnne McDonald arrived in Italy Jan. 10 for a semester of study through Syracuse University’s Division of International Programs Abroad. Along with another SU student, McDonald was living with a host family, a short distance away from SU’s center in Florence. According to the Florence police, a neighbor found McDonald dead, lying face down in a parking area behind the house and beneath a third-floor balcony at 3 a.m. Sunday Florence time, (9 p.m. Saturday EST). The circumstances of her death are under investigation. “I am deeply saddened by this news,” says SU Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw. “For a life to be cut short so young is truly tragic. The thoughts and prayers of our entire University community are with Dr. and Mrs. McDonald, their family, Marianne’s host family in Florence, and her friends.” Some 360 students from SU and other U.S. institutions are studying at the Florence center this semester; 46 are VPA students. SU’s Florence program is supported by about 70 faculty and staff. The Rev. Thomas V. Wolfe, dean of Hendricks Chapel, flew to Florence late Monday to help comfort and counsel students, faculty and staff there. VPA Interim Dean Carole Brzozowski, who has been in London the past few days, was en route to Florence Tuesday. A memorial service will be held in Florence Thursday. The chaplains of Hendricks Chapel have scheduled an informal gathering at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the main sanctuary. The purpose is to share information, and feelings and reflections, about McDonald’s passing. SU’s Counseling Center (443-4715) and the chaplains (443-2901) are available to assist those on campus who knew McDonald. Along with the program in Florence, established in 1959, SU’s Division of International Programs Abroad operates five other overseas centers–in London; Madrid; Strasbourg, France; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Hong Kong.