A 22-year-old Fordham University student died on Sunday after she fell from the school’s clock tower, police said.
The student, identified by a school official as Sydney Monfries, a senior, was climbing the Keating Clock tower of the Bronx school with other students just before 3:20 a.m. when she fell between 30 and 40 feet, according to police and school officials. Police said she appeared to fall through an opening on one of the stair landings.
Monfries was taken in critical condition to St. Barnabas Hospital suffering from head and body trauma, police said. She later died from her injuries, a school official confirmed.
"Our hearts go out to Sydney’s parents, and her family and friends — theirs is an unimaginable loss, and we share their grief," the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, said in an email. "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."
A university spokesman said that the tower should have been locked at the time and that only "authorized staff" can access it.
He added that while the university was investigating how the students were able to get into the tower, "authorized university staff" have given students tours of the structure in the past "in part to satisfy students’ curiosity about it, and reduce the likelihood that they would attempt to enter the structure without authorization."