A 22-year-old student who fell 40 feet from Fordham University’s clock tower early Sunday morning has died.
The school confirmed Sydney Paige Monfries, from Portland, Oregon, had died in a letter to students Sunday, just weeks before she was due to graduate.
School President Joseph McShane wrote: ‘It is with great sadness that I report that Sydney Monfries, a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill, died today after sustaining a fall inside the Keating Clock tower in the early hours of the morning.
‘Our hearts go out to Sydney’s parents, and her family and friends—theirs is an unimaginable loss, and we share their grief.
‘There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise — and mere weeks from graduation. Fordham will confer a bachelor’s degree upon Sydney posthumously, which we will present to her parents at the appropriate time.’
Sydney Paige Monfries (pictured), 22, fell 40 feet from Fordham University’s Keating Hall clock tower early Sunday morning
The New York Police Department said Monfries (pictured) went to the Keating Hall clock tower with her friends around 3am
Students from Fordham said Monfries may have been participating in a ‘rite of passage’ ceremony or event. The tower is seen above
The New York Police Department said Monfries went to the Keating Hall clock tower with her friends around 3am.
Police said the senior fell while trying to get a better view of the city’s skyline.
A student named Anne told the New York Post: ‘I think they were posting on Instagram when it happened.’
Sources say Monfries and her friends were climbing the spiral staircase when she tripped on a landing and fell 40 feet, striking her head on the ground.
According to the Post, the back of her head was smashed in and her vitals flat-lined at the scene.
Emergency services struggled to move her in the tight space on a stretcher, so instead used a rescue blanket to lift her up and out of a window.
Paramedics were able to revive her and rushed her to St Barnabas Hospital in ‘extremely critical’ condition.
First responders said Monfries also suffered injuries to her pelvis.
She died after her parents arrived at St Barnabas Hospital with two priests.
The school confirmed Sydney Paige Monfries, from Portland, Oregon, had died in a letter to students Sunday
The back of Monfries’ (pictured) head was smashed in and her vitals flat-lined at the scene. She is seen above posing on the edge of a building in Chicago for an Instagram snap
Monfries was a photo intern at InStyle Magazine, and was studying journalism at Fordham University
Anna Newell paid tribute to her friend on Instagram, writing: ‘ You were all so kind and good hearted. You were so smart, pretty and kind just like your momma. Thank you for being an amazing person, I will always remember you. RIP.’
Shristina Harrigan added: ‘Rest in sweetest peace Sydney. I’ll never forget all of our memories back when you lived in NJ and I’ll forever cherish them! Rest easy sweet girl.’
AJ Newell described Monfries as ‘the sweetest soul I have ever met’.
According to her LinkedIn page, Monfries was a photo intern at InStyle Magazine, and was studying journalism at Fordham University.
Students from Fordham told the Post that Monfries may have been participating in a ‘rite of passage’ ceremony or event.
According to students at the university, seniors climb the tower, touch the bell and take photos outside one of the top windows during the event.
None of the other students who went with Monfries were injured.
The university said in a statement to students earlier in the day: ‘A Fordham student was critically injured in a fall from the clock tower in Keating Hall at approximately 3am on Sunday, April 14, 2019.
Monfries was taken to the St Barnabas Hospital in ‘extremely critical’ condition. None of the other students who went with Monfries were injured
‘The student, a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill, was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, and the student’s family has been notified.
‘The student apparently climbed into the clock tower with friends. University officials are investigating how the students gained access to the tower.’
The Keating Hall tower is off limits to students at the university.
In 2013, The Fordham Ram published an article about the gothic granite building and how students are forbidden inside.
Students who violate this rule ‘would likely face disciplinary action if they entered it’.