Notre Dame Student Falls From Joyce Center Roof, Dies One Day Before Graduation

The 21-year-old was set to graduate today.

— -- A University of Notre Dame senior died early this morning after falling from the roof of an athletic building, officials said.

William Meckling, 21, was set to graduate Sunday, according to a news release from the university.

A Notre Dame Security Police official found Meckling unresponsive on the ground next to the Joyce Center -- an athletic building that houses the Notre Dame basketball arena -- at about 4 a.m. today.

The university release said: "Initial investigation indicates that the victim was among a small group of students who had gained access to the roof, wet from precipitation, at a relatively low point from outside the building."

Medical personnel responded but were unable to resuscitate him. The cause of death will be determined by the county coroner, according to the university.

Meckling was a mechanical engineering major and member of the Notre Dame fencing team, the university said. According to the university's statement, fencing coach Gia Kvaratskhelia said Meckling "left such a massive impact on all of us as a fencer and a human being."

"He was a great friend to all members of our program," Kvaratskhelia continued. "A true Notre Dame man, his kindness and warmth impacted each and every one of us — and makes his loss all the more difficult."

University president Rev. John I. Jenkins called it a "terrible tragedy."

"It is a profound sadness for all of us, on this graduation weekend, to lose someone so young and brimming with promise," he said in a university statement.