L'Université McGill déplore le décès d'une étudiante

Nouvelles

L'Université McGill a le regret d'annoncer le décès de Kathleen « Katie » Currier, une étudiante de 1re année âgée de 18 ans originaire d'Essex Junction (Vermont), trouvée sans vie dans sa chambre des résidences de l'Université le samedi 3 septembre 2004.

La cause exacte du décès n'a pas encore été déterminée. Les résultats complets de l'autopsie qui seront disponibles dans une ou deux semaines devraient permettre d'élucider cette tragédie. La police exclut tout acte suspect ou violent; les résultats préliminaires de l'autopsie permettent aussi d'écarter l'hypothèse de la méningite envisagée au début de l'enquête.

C'est le personnel des résidences qui a découvert le corps de Mlle Currier. Les parents de l'étudiante avaient contacté l'Université vendredi soir en constatant que leur fille, qui devait rentrer à la maison pour le week-end de la Fête du Travail, n'était toujours pas arrivée. Le personnel des résidences a vérifié durant la soirée si l'étudiante se trouvait dans sa chambre en frappant à sa porte. C'est en pénétrant dans la chambre tôt samedi matin, à la demande de la famille, que les responsables ont découvert le corps de l'étudiante.

Ils ont alors immédiatement appelé la police et les services médicaux d'urgence.

Diplômée avec distinction de son école secondaire et athlète active, Kathleen Currier pratiquait le hockey sur gazon et sur glace, ainsi que la crosse. Elle était inscrite à la Faculté des sciences et prenait part au camp de sélection de l'équipe de crosse de McGill. Les joueurs et les entraîneurs sont extrêmement attristés par le décès de Katie, dont le dynamisme leur avait fait une vive impression. Selon l'entraîneure chef, Heather Roffey, « Kathleen a été la première à se présenter sur le terrain au camp d'entraînement, où elle a manifesté ses qualités de chef d'équipe.»

La principale, Mme Heather Munroe-Blum, a rencontré les parents et les autres membres de la famille de Kathleen et leur a offert ses plus sincères condoléances au nom de l'Université. Le doyen des services aux étudiants, M. Bruce Shore, et les membres du Service de sécurité de l'Université ont en outre des contacts réguliers avec la famille pour leur offrir leur appui et leur fournir toutes les informations utiles durant cette difficile épreuve.

Les étudiants ont organisé une veillée aux chandelles samedi soir aux résidences.

« Les étudiants sont naturellement bouleversés, mais il est merveilleux de les voir se réunir pour se réconforter et honorer la mémoire de Katie », souligne la directrice adjointe des résidences, Mme Janice Johnson.

Des professionnels de la santé mentale ont été mis à la disposition des étudiants qui avaient besoin d'aide. De plus, la directrice des résidences est de garde 24 heures sur 24 et le nombre de superviseurs étudiants a été augmenté à la résidence où Mlle Currier habitait.

Les Services aux étudiants de l'Université offrent également de l'aide psychologique à tous les étudiants affectés par cette tragédie. Le service funèbre sera célébré le samedi 11 septembre à midi, à l'Église First Congregational de Essex Junction. Tous ceux qui souhaitent offrir leurs condoléances à la famille peuvent le faire par l'entremise du doyen des Services aux étudiants au 514-398-8238.

Le drapeau de l'Université sera mis en berne le mercredi 8 septembre à la mémoire de Mlle Currier.

La famille de l'étudiante décédée a fait paraître la notice nécrologique suivante dans le Burlington Free Press:

09/08/2004

KATHLEEN ANNE CURRIER, ESSEX JUNCTION — Kathleen (Katie) Anne Currier, 18, died unexpectedly on Friday, Sept. 3, 2004, of natural causes. She was born Oct. 17, 1985, on her great-aunt Shirley's birthday, to complete the family of Pam and Bob Currier and her beloved brother, Stephen.

Katie attended Essex Junction schools and graduated in the top of her class from Essex High School on June 19, 2004. She remembered and cherished wonderful teachers at all her schools, and graduated with friends she had known since childhood. She had lived a lifetime of experiences, always seeking new people and new adventures.

In grade school she was a checker champion, a tap dancer, an eager student and a Brownie. She started playing the viola and began gymnastics which immediately became a passion. She loved watching her brother play hockey and piling into the Suburban with as many friends as could fit for carpool rides home. Katie was a determined Little League player, fiercely wanting to hold her own with the boys. She loved being with her wonderful grandparents and aunt Shirley who all did their best to spoil her as the only girl among her many boy cousins for a long time.

In middle school she continued to love learning but never wanted to stand out publicly among her classmates. She tried softball and track, but took to field hockey even though they wore skirts, continuing throughout high school. She shone on the ADL Gymnastics team, and decided it was time to play ice hockey instead of just watching. This became another passion, where she made new friends and was known as "Mouth" by her first coach, who threatened to make her wear a dress on the ice when she wanted to be too nice to the other team. She liked helping her grandmother in the thrift shop of the church.

High school was a time of the struggle and growth which is adolescence, but she developed into an incredible young woman. She filled her day with classes and loved everything from poetry to biology to Canadian studies. She was a four-year, three-season athlete. She lettered in gymnastics her freshman year, and was on the first varsity girls ice hockey team. She played field hockey four years and discovered lacrosse. Being captain of her ice hockey and lacrosse teams was an honor she took seriously and she worked hard to help bring her teammates together as athletes and friends. She still loved watching her brother play hockey and visiting him at college where he made her part of his life, and even there made friends who remember her. The true heart of Katie lay in her deep and unwavering devotion to her family and friends.

Without question her best friend was Stevie Hennesey, her first, true love. His incredibly loving family made her one of their own and she loved them. Knowing them was one of the most important parts of the last three years. Her life was defined by her family and friends. She looked forward to every summer "going to camp" at our Lake Fairlee cottage, which everyone knew meant water skiing, swimming, hot air balloons and croquet, shelling peas and tubing and lots of games and laughter. It was a special place for her friends, and it was where she renewed her ties to her cousins, Evan, Tyler and Davey DeSantis of California, Liz and Larkin Seiple of Seattle and Emily Seiple from Illinois, as well as those nearby, Brad, Bryan and Bryce Currier, and all her aunts and uncles.

She was beginning life as a college student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, which offered everything she wanted; a good college to prepare her for medical school, a city with a diverse and unique culture away from home but close enough to come back often. She had begun to play lacrosse and had made good friends there from around the world. To her own family she was a touchstone of love. She was a fiercely independent thinker, deeply compassionate, and a vegetarian since she was 13. Love defined her, but she was also loyal, strong, caring and devoted, vivacious and fun-loving, determined and adventurous. She never failed to say, "I love you," every day of her life.

She is survived by her parents, Bob and Pam Currier; and her brother Stephen. She leaves adored maternal grandparents, Stan and Maureen Seiple; paternal grandmother Bernice Currier; great-aunt Shirley Wilson; uncle and aunt Bill and Vicky Currier and their sons, Brad, Bryan and Bryce; aunt and uncle Cindy and John DeSantis and their children, Tyler and Davey. Her cousin, Evan DeSantis, whom she loved dearly, passed away on Aug. 21, 2004, after a battle with cancer. She is also survived by aunts and uncles, Cheryl and Steve Savage; Andy Seiple and Debra Cederbaum and their children, Larkin, Liuz and Julia; Garth Seiple and Diane Klock and their family, Emily, Erick and Andrew with his wife, Sarah; and many extended relations. She is survived by many others important to her, especially Terry and Tom Cleveland and their children, Ben and Rachel; all her teammates and many lifelong friends.

A memorial service will be held to celebrate her life on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 12 noon in the First Congregational Church in Essex Junction, with a committal in the Fairview Cemetery following. Katie's family warmly invites everyone to their home after the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kathleen Currier Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Essex High School, Educational Drive, Essex Junction, Vt. 05452. Corbin & Palmer Funeral Home, 9 Pleasant St., is in charge of arrangements.