Meckling dies after fall from JACC
Observer Staff Report | Saturday, May 16, 2015
Billy Meckling, a 21-year-old male senior set to graduate this weekend, died in the early morning hours Saturday after falling from the roof of the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center (JACC), the University announced.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends after this terrible tragedy,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in a press release. “It is a profound sadness for all of us, on this graduation weekend, to lose someone so young and brimming with promise.”
Meckling will be remembered at Saturday’s Baccalaureate mass, Jenkins said in an email sent to the student body.
At 3:45 a.m., two students requesting assistance approached a Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) officer. On the east side of the JACC, the officer found Meckling unresponsive. Despite attempts at CPR and emergency medical care, he never regained consciousness, the press release stated.
According to initial investigations, the senior was part of a group of students of who gained access to the roof of the JACC, which was wet after several days of rain in the past week, the press release said.
Meckling was a four-year member and two-time monogram winner for the Irish varsity fencing team.
“When one thinks of the success of Notre Dame fencing, names like Gerek Meinhardt and Lee Kiefer come to mind,” head fencing coach Gia Kyaratskhelia said in a press release. “Yet equally integral to our team success are the unsung names, the walk-ons that bring the positive spirit, energy and camaraderie to our practices and competitions to push their teammates and themselves to greater heights. Billy Meckling was one of those teammates – an invaluable member of our sabre squad who left such a massive impact on all of us as a fencer and a human being.
“On the strip, Billy was a talented fencer and a determined worker on a very competitive sabre squad – evidenced by his earned monograms during the 2012 and 2014 seasons. More importantly, he was a great friend to all members of our program. A true Notre Dame man, his kindness and warmth impacted each and every one of us – and make his loss all the more difficult.”