Notre Dame Student Dies After Falling From Athletic Center Building

The student was scheduled to graduate Sunday, according to university officials

A 21-year-old graduating senior at the University of Notre Dame died Saturday after falling from the roof of the school's athletic center.

The student, identified as William Meckling, was among a small group of students who managed to get on the roof of the Joyce Center early Saturday morning, according to a statement from the university. At about 3:45 a.m., just after the falling incident, two students approached a Notre Dame Security Police lieutenant who was on patrol near the arena and said they needed assistance.

When the security officer arrived, he found Meckling unresponsive on the ground near Gate 7, according to the university. Emergency medical personnel responded, but CPR and other life-saving measures were not successful.

Meckling was transported to Saint Joseph's Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death remains under investigation.

An initial investigation by the school concluded that the rooftop was wet after recent rain.

Meckling was set to graduate Sunday, university officials said. He was a mechanical engineering major from Centennial, Colo., and a member of the Notre Dame fencing team.

"On the strip, Billy was a talented fencer and a determined worker on a very competitive sabre squad -- evidenecd by his earned monograms during the 2012 and 2014 season," head fencing coach Gia Kvaratskhelia said. "More importantly, he was a great friend to all members of our program. A true Notre Dame man, his kindness and warmth impacted each and every one of us -- and makes his loss all the more difficult."

The university's counseling center and campus ministry are offering support for members of the Notre Dame community.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends after this terrible tragedy," Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the president of the university, said in a statement. "It is a profound sadness for all of us, on this graduation weekend, to lose someone so young and brimming with promise."

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