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KU Student Passes Away in Dixon Dormitory, KU Holds Vigil

By Dylan Adams
News Editor

University officials reported on Thursday, Nov. 13 that an unresponsive student had been found in the Dixon Hall dormitory.

The student in question was identified as Hannah Marie Varn, an arts administration graduate student from Iowa.

The family had not been in contact with Hannah for several days and reached out to the university to perform a wellness check. 

Hannah was found dead within her dormitory at 9:30 p.m. by Dixon Hall residential assistants.

Credit: Dylan Adams

Police commented that they found “multiple” bottles of liquor within Varn’s room. 

Students were asked by officials to avoid the area until an investigation could be completed. The investigation was led by Pennsylvania State Police in cooperation with KU Police.

The initial investigation from the Pa. State Police ruled that no foul play was suspected. The Berks County Coroner’s Office stated that Varn’s passing is not considered suspicious, but the official cause of death will remain pending until toxicology results are received in the upcoming weeks. 

Hannah’s passing sparked massive outreach from the Kutztown community. Those close to her spoke out in remembrance to pay tribute to her life. 

KU officials stated on Nov. 13 at 9:37 p.m. that they would be holding a vigil on Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. at the Alumni Plaza, inviting the campus community to attend whilst requesting event-goers adhere to safety regulations such as mask-wearing and social distancing to the best of their abilities.

The vigil attracted over 150 members of the community, including students, faculty and supporters who took the moment to both remember Hannah as well as to show their support for mental health awareness. From university staff members, the local pastor from the GT Kutztown Church, and Hannah’s aunt who drove from Virginia to deliver family remarks, multiple speakers eloquently spoke of Hannah’s character and person.

A private memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 5, at Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Marion, Ohio. A livestream of the funeral service can be accessed through the funeral home’s website. This can be found looking for Hannah, under “photos and videos or media,” on the website’s “tribute” page. The stream starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

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