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New York college student dies after falling from clock tower weeks before graduating

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New York college student dies after falling from clock tower weeks before graduating

A Fordham University senior who was climbing up the campus’ iconic bell tower fell to her death in a tragic accident early Sunday morning.

Sydney Monfries, 22, fell through an opening in a stairway landing at Keating Hall and plummeted down the inside of the clock and bell tower, according to the New York City Police Department. The fall was about 30 feet, CNN reports, citing school officials. Monfries was found critically injured and later died.

The tower on the Bronx, New York, campus is off-limits to students and locked at night, according to the university. 

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“There are no words sufficient to describe the loss of someone so young and full of promise — and mere weeks from graduation,” university president Rev. Joseph M. McShane said in a statement.

Fordham University’s student newspaper, The Observer, reported that climbing the tower is a kind of “rite of passage” before graduation. 

Monfries posted video from the top of the tower early Sunday with the caption “Bell tower,” The New York Times reports.  

McShane said Monfries’ bachelor’s degree will be presented to her parents. 

Authorities are investigating how Monfries gained access to the tower. 

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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