Denison community mourns the death of Tianyue Li ‘19

MAX CURTIN, JOEY SEMEL & LIZ ANASTASIADIS — Denison University is mourning the loss of Tianyue Li ’19, who died on campus on Tuesday, March 12.

Li was a communication major from Xian, China, who served as the vice president of the Asian Culture Club (ACC) and was a highly involved student elsewhere on campus.

The community gathered in Swasey Chapel at 10 p.m. on Tuesday night — less than an hour after the news of her death was shared with the campus community — to honor Li and to be with each other as a community.

The next issue of The Denisonian, to be released on Wednesday, April 3, will be dedicated to honoring Li, her life and the Denisonian she was.

Li’s passing marks the second time the university has suffered the loss of a student during the 2018-2019 academic year. It’s the third time in the past four years that a student has passed away on Denison’s campus.

The administration promptly canceled all classes and extracurricular activities for Wednesday, March 13, giving students time to grieve and be with friends.

University President Adam Weinberg issued an email the following morning to announce that classes would be canceled for Thursday, March 14, and Friday, March 15, leading into the week of spring break, to give the campus community space to mourn and heal.

In that same email, Weinberg extended the following sentiments to the community: “We recognize that we are in a historical moment when college students are feeling increased stress and anxiety. In light of our community’s loss, we are feeling this with intensity on our campus today. Denison needs to be a place where we foster in ourselves and each other the skills and habits of wellness and wellbeing. A part of a liberal arts education should be devoted to developing and educating the whole person. This is part of Denison’s mission.”

He added, “An extraordinary quality of Denisonians is our capacity to meet hardship with overwhelming kindness for each other. Denisonians care about each other. We will use the coming days and weeks to invite our community to work together to create a path forward. We have challenges to overcome and opportunities to do so in ways that will make our campus stronger and healthier.”

If you are concerned for yourself or anyone around you, please do not hesitate to seek help for yourself or for others. You can do so by calling the Whisler Center at 740-587-0810 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, which is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

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