Notre Dame student dies after falling off Joyce Center


By: Krystal Vivian

A 21-year-old Notre Dame senior died Saturday morning after falling from the roof of the Joyce Center on campus. The man was set to graduate on Sunday, May 17.

William Meckling was a mechanical engineering major and a member of the fencing team, according to Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications. He was from Centennial, Colo.

Meckling, known as “Billy” to his friends, was “an invaluable member of our sabre squad who left such a massive impact on all of us as a fencer and a human being,“ fencing coach Gia Kyaratskhelia said.

Two students approached a campus security lieutenant at about 3:45 a.m. Saturday, May 16, saying that they needed help, Browne said. The students led the officer to the east side of the Joyce Center near Gate 7, where Meckling was laying unresponsive on the ground.

Emergency medical responders tried to resuscitate him, but were unsuccessful, Browne said. 

The county coroner will determine cause of death. An initial investigation found that a Meckling and small group of other students gained access to a low point of the roof, Browne said. The area where Meckling fell from was wet from rain.

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

The University Counseling Center and Campus Ministry are available to anyone needing their support.

Graduation events set for Saturday and Sunday on campus will not be affected, according to Dennis Brown, assistant vice president of news and media relations with Notre Dame.