A sophomore student died Sunday night. Katie Kirby, sophomore from Friendswood, was found unresponsive in her dorm room in Dillard Hall. Kirby’s death appears to be of natural causes, said university officials, and police investigation continues.
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, sent an email to the student body Sunday night to notify campus of Kirby’s death.
“It is with deep sadness that I share news with you of the unexpected passing today of one of our students,” Schubert said in the email. “Katie, who was a sophomore majoring in interdisciplinary studies and elementary education, was highly involved on campus and loved by many.”
Kirby recently became a member of GATA women’s social club and was a writer for The Odyssey Online.
During pledging, Kirby wrote:
Who are these weird girls wearing red skirts and yelling at a fountain?
Pledging at Abilene Christian University is one of the best experiences anyone can have at ACU.
Not only do you get to have fun, but you also get to connect people you may not have known before on a deep emotional level. Pledging involves not only a time commitment but a further commitment to sharing a bond with your pledge sisters and current members. Although pledging is a stressful time, in the end, you get to be a part of a group that loves and cares for you.
“She was just funny and easy going,” said Victoria Lee, “Nothing bothered her. She was so happy when she got into GATA that she cried.”
Lee, senior theater major from Abilene, got to know Kirby during the pledging process as her grand big.
“I wrote her a letter when she got in telling her as her grand big, friend, and sister in GATA, I would be there for her forever and always,” Lee said. “How funny it is that the opposite is true and she will actually be with me forever and always.”
Lee said GATA has come together to remember and honor Kirby’s life.
“It was an extremely sad night but also a testament to what an in campus sorority can do in a time like this,” Lee said. “It is good in situations like these to just sit with people you love. We couldn’t help but laugh at some of the memories we shared of her because she was just too funny.”
Monday’s Chapel time will be dedicated to remembering Kirby and the ACU Counseling Center will be available to meet with students in Dillard Hall.
“We are planning on finding out what we can do for her family, but out of respect we are giving them privacy for their family,” Lee said. “I know I will make the trip for her funeral to say my last good bye to her.”