March 23, 2017
Dear Binghamton Campus Community:
Binghamton University suffered a terrible loss last weekend with the accidental death of freshman Conor Donnelly. Our campus is saddened from the sudden loss of such a bright, popular young man, but I am grateful to the many people on our campus who have made themselves available to assist those who are grieving.
Conor touched many people in his time here, as demonstrated by his election as president of Johnson Hall, and the University continues to offer support to those affected by his death. The University’s CARE Team, Residential Life and Counseling Center staff met with approximately 25 students at the hospital on Saturday, arranged to bring them safely back to campus and provided in-person counseling in the University Union both Saturday and Sunday. Staff have been working closely with an additional 55 students who have been affected by Conor’s death. The CARE Team has provided outreach to the faculty of these students.
Late Tuesday afternoon I met with five students who had witnessed Conor’s fall. Listening to them made me better understand their inability to focus on academics, so I especially thank faculty who have been working to schedule make-up exams and other accommodations for these students as well as other students who were Conor’s friends.
Moving forward, I ask that students who do require help with academics be directed to the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team for assistance in arranging for specific needs with faculty as necessary. I believe this will make a difficult time easier for both students and faculty. The DOS and CARE Team can be reached by calling 607-777-2804.
Other offices that have provided support to students include the University Union and Ombudsman. They join with the DOS, CARE Team, Counseling Center and Residential Life in providing ongoing support to students as needed.
The Employee Assistance Program is available to provide support to faculty and staff who knew Conor, and can be reached at 607-777-6655 or 607-777-6650 during regular office hours, or an off-campus coordinator can be reached after hours by calling the 24-hour EAP call line at 1-800-822-0244.
Members of the Dean of Students Office and CARE Team have also provided support to Conor’s parents and have arranged a bus to transport students to the funeral on Thursday.
Conor’s family will receive visitors from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at the Wyman-Fisher Funeral Home, 100 Franklin Ave., Pearl River, N.Y. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 23, at St. Aedan’s Church, Reld Dr., Pearl River, with burial to follow in St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Nanuet, N.Y.
Residential Life will coordinate a campus memorial service in the future.
Harvey G. Stenger