Sydney Monfries, 22, a student at New York City’s Fordham University died Sunday after falling about 30 feet from a campus clock tower in Keating Hall, Bronx.
The New York Police Department said it appeared she and other students were climbing a set of stairs when she fell through a hole in a landing. The group of seniors wanted to get a view of the city skyline. Students say it has become a rite of passage to climb the tower and snap pictures before graduating. She was weeks from graduating with her bachelor’s degree. Fordham would issue her degree posthumously. University officials are investigating how the students gained access to the tower. The tower has a clock mechanism and a tank for firefighting water.
The clock tower
The door to the tower is always locked, and only authorized staff can access. The tower is the central part of the university's Rose Hill campus. Built in the 1930s, the building's Gothic architecture has featured in several movies, including scenes in "The Exorcist" and "A Beautiful Mind." "Our hearts go out to Sydney’s parents, and her family and friends- theirs is an unimaginable loss, and we share their grief," Rev. Joseph M. McShane wrote announcing her death.