Local News

Duke student dies in 'accidental' fall

Posted October 24, 2010 6:31 p.m. EDT
Updated October 25, 2010 6:41 p.m. EDT

— Duke University is mourning a student who died Sunday after a "tragic but accidental fall" Friday morning, according to school officials.

Drew Everson, a senior from Tampa, Fla., fell behind the East Union Building, according to Duke Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta. He was found at 11:30 a.m., and Durham emergency workers took him to Duke University Hospital.

University officials said Everson had been out with friends the night before he fell. Duke Police are still trying to figure out exactly what happened to Everson. Their investigation into the incident is expected to be completed in the new few days.

Everson's family, including his brother, A.J. Everson, a 2009 Duke graduate, was with him when he died Sunday, Moneta said.

"Drew leaves behind many, many friends throughout the Duke community. Many gathered (Sunday) afternoon in the Devil's Den to offer support to each other," Moneta said. "It saddens me greatly to share such tragic news, and I hope we can all comfort each other as needed."

President Richard Brodhead and other university officials have been providing support to Everson's family and friends, according to the school. Two student affairs officials, Sue Wasiolek and Todd Adams, stayed with the family throughout their two days at the hospital.

A memorial service will be held in the Duke Chapel at noon Wednesday, followed by a reception in the Scharf Commons area adjacent to Cameron Indoor Stadium.

A political science major, Everson spent last summer in New York working as an intern with Goldman Sachs, according to Duke. He was recently weighing job offers to pursue after graduation this spring.

Everson was a member of Pi Kappa Phi and the Duke Debate Team and served as a line monitor for Duke men's basketball.

Duke University Dean and Vice-Provost Stephen Nowicki said Everson was well-liked by everyone.

"It's remarkable how many faculty commented on him being one of their favorite students. He certainly was one of mine," he said.

Nowicki, who taught Everson his sophomore year, said he learned by e-mail about Everson's accident.

"It's an unthinkable tragedy," he said.

Nowicki said he visited Everson's family in the hospital shortly before his death.

"I don't know how you cope with it. I think all you can do is provide as much tangible and emotional support that you can to the family," he said.