Skip to comments.University of Pennsylvania Track Star Jumped to Death Over Grades: Family Friend
Posted on 01/22/2014 2:17:03 PM PST by nickcarraway
Madison Holleran, 19, was stressed about her 3.5 GPA in the weeks before she jumped from a parking garage in Philadelphia on Friday, the friend said. The freshmans tragic death stunned friends and family in her hometown of Allendale, N.J.
A beautiful and brainy University of Pennsylvania track star jumped to her death from a parking garage Friday after stressing out over grades, a family friend revealed Monday.
Madison Holleran a freshman at the Ivy League school who hails from Bergen County, N.J. made dinner plans and sent messages to friends without a hint she was feeling suicidal, said family friend Bob Weckworth.
People talked to her within hours of her act of suicide and there were no red flags, warning signs, nothing, he told the Daily News from the familys Allendale home.
This kid didnt have a boyfriend. There were no drug issues. There were no mental health issues in her background. It was just the last two, three weeks where they saw a change in her, said Weckworth, a friend of Madisons father, James Holleran. Something snapped.
Cops said Madison, 19, jumped from a Philadelphia parking garage at 7 p.m. Friday. It was not clear Monday if she left a suicide note.
The death of the teen who won numerous athletic awards as a student at Northern Highlands Regional High School in New Jersey left her friends and family stunned.
She left a flood of photos on her social media accounts showing her smiling with friends. One posted on Instagram just an hour before her death shows a beautiful image of Philadelphias Rittenhouse Square at sunset.
She got a 3.5 her first semester, and I think just the high expectations that she put on herself was that thats just not acceptable, Weckworth said.
When she came home over Christmas break, she was a changed person, he said.
She was not happy at Penn, but the parents had told her then, Dont go back. Well transfer. Well look at other schools. Theres no reason to go back, its OK, he said.
It was not immediately clear what may have prompted the teen a star athlete in her hometown of Allendale, N.J. to jump to her death. FACEBOOK
It was not immediately clear what may have prompted the teen a star athlete in her hometown of Allendale, N.J. to jump to her death.
University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann said Madisons death left the campus deeply saddened.
She was bright and well-liked with an incredible future ahead of her, Gutmann said in a statement.
Steve Dolan, Penns director of track and field-cross country, said Madisons teammates were crushed by the news.
We will always carry her in our hearts, Dolan said.
The school announced that formal recruitment for sororities would be postponed out of respect for Holleran, who was participating in the events.
Holleran who was named by the Star-Ledger to the all-state girls soccer and track teams last year was majoring in philosophy, politics and economics, NJ.com reported.
As our school community mourns the loss of Madison, we extend our love and prayers to the Holleran family as they grieve, and we respect their privacy during this extremely difficult time, Joseph Occhino, principal of Northern Highlands High School, said in a statement.
I would have given her extra credit.
3.5 is pretty good but, doing a double gainer over it is just out there....
Like they say, “Penn S*cks.”
She had standards. If one wants no standards, check out John (gigolo) Kerry’s or AlBearManPig’s grades.
I morn the passing of a talented young woman.
But don’t worry, we still have Hillary and Michelle.
If she did have a boyfriend or drug issues, "a friend of her father" wouldn't have known about it.
Poor girl, look at those bags under her eyes.
There is more to this story.
It will either never come out, or it will be months.
But there is more.
I can’t put my finger on it, but something doesn’t add up.
Horrors !!! A 3.5 GPA !!!
Probably went to a HS where they inflate the grades - thereby inflating her opinion of herself ...
Stressed out over a 3.5 gpa? 1st semester?
I would have thrown a party!
You go back and try harder you might improve. You jump off a build, then no so much.......
I think I graduated with a 2.1. She might have been stressed about grades but there was something else causing that.
Well, that explains a lot. There's enough in those three subjects to make ANYone suicidal.
Seriously, though, what a waste. Prayers for her family.
Kids are sheltered from failure.
That’s why they aren’t ready for the real world.
Such a waste-—girl needed some hamburger therapy as she was skinny minnie. Why die over lieberal college grades?
she has the looks of a movie star.. what a shame.
Poor kid was thinking about majoring in those, among others... she was a freshman, your major isn't really declared until later.
Maybe she was still on adrenaline overload from what they put them thru in high school; i.e., you better decide on Day 1 what you plan to do the rest of your life, because they need to put you in the right “track”. Heck, they even start “career planning” with 7th graders in our area.
A very sad ending to such a short life.
God and Penn Docs saved my GF life. Dr Chu. check her out on u-tube. Nurses and people in the onco area are mostly very religious and christian.
I'm with you. I read this and a thought kept coming to mind....
This is no suicide. She was pushed off.
I was a philosophy major and I can guarantee you that in the 30+ years since I graduated nobody has ever inquired what my GPA was.
It takes a bit of living to get a sense of proportion...
I have similar ‘gut feelings’ about this one.
From her picture I can tell she was a distance runner.
All good sprinters have large powerful thighs.
Besides parental pressure to "succeed," there is also the myth of the importance of getting into a "good college," which is perpetuated by teachers. I think the threat of not getting into a "good school" is a crutch that teachers use to keep students in line. Unfortunately, I don't think they realize how much impact that can have on a young person.
Way too pretty to not have friends, and having friends is a very secure sense of self in this world.
The article made it seem like she was happy and not depressed
so why kill yourself and shy jump off a building. Could she have been pushed or maybe she just fell and it was an accident.
Why automatically say it was suicide when there was no note or indication that it was?
could she have been friendly with an obama ?
different article she was doing therapy
This poor kid. Young and a crisis state that if had been somehow interrupted she surely would’ve been able to get help and move on.
The Ivy League is a club, the members don’t care what your GPA is. Getting in is the trick.
She told her parents she had suicidal thoughts in Dec.They wanted her to transfer.My daughter’s friend who was in nursing class with her was afraid to show her parents bad marks.She took a bottle of pills-went to sleep and never woke up.It is unusual for woman to jump.
Parking lot at 15 and spruce. right behind the kimmel center. I was kinda curious because i live here a work a few block away. and my doc is at Penn.
That’s an informative piece. Something was going wrong for her - whether academically, in sports, or a relationship - and she went off the deep end.
I doubt her problem was the 3.5. The fact is she had mental problems and the poor parents have no other reason to believe it was her GPA. Just my opinion.
Maybe the fact that a friend of her father is making a statement to the press is what gave me that feeling.
She really is a pretty girl, and grades alone (especially a 3.5) doesn’t seem enough to explain it.
I’d like to know how close this friend is to her dad and whether he has business dealings with him. If he financially benefits from being in good with him then I’m sure any funny business with the daughter could be a basis for murder.
It would be interesting to know what the autopsy shows. Like... was she pregnant?
I know I’m just speculating and it’s insensitive but I’m serious trying to make sense of this.
“Kids are sheltered from failure.”
“There is more to this story”
But she wasn’t failing, unless she thought that not being perfect was failing - which is completely wrong.
I read another story about this that was posted here and it said she did leave a note, I don’t think there is much doubt that it was suicide.
Often severe mental illness does not manifest until about this age range. I had a friend when I was a teenager who went from normal to nuts to dead by his own hand in what seemed like 2 weeks. I don’t have the most accurate memory, so it might have been longer than that, but it was weeks, not months. And believe me his mom and other tried to get him help. “Not a danger to himself or others” was the answer. Clearly that was incorrect, but in fact he did not give indications that he was suicidal.
Sometimes they can appear happy in the days before they kill themselves, because they know all their troubles will soon be over.
They found a note and gifts for her family on the roof of the parking garage.
I sense something odd too. That “suspension of recruitment for sororities” raises a flag with me...
Something more than a half GPA point got to her...
“...they know all their troubles will soon be over.”
Yes, I’ve heard of that. Also people who are put on anti-depressants sometimes “cheer up” just enough to do themselves in.
I feel very sorry for this girl’s family. I wish people who commit suicide would stop and think of their families and how much pain they are going to cause them.
The HS she went to Northern Highlands Regional would put 90% of private schools to shame. It is a very good school and public to boot.
Prayers up for her parents. Horrible.
Stunning girl. What a horrible waste. RIP. :-((
This story is an odd and sad echo to an incident in my freshman year. I had a classmate who started at Gettysburg College in the fall. After the first semester, he transferred to Penn State, and right about this time of year, shortly into the second semester, he also jumped to his death.
I totally believe you.
There are plenty of documented instances of “out of the blue” suicides. This may in fact be one of those sad ones where a hasty and impulsive response was made, and it just happened to be deadly and can’t be undone.
It’s tragic and very sad regardless.
That said, I’ve reviewed so many Arkancides that if it were my loved one I would at least look into all possible scenarios before I just took the word of the “authorities” at face value.
As a former prosecutor and defense attorney my experience with the system leaves me suspicious of most initial reports and quick conclusions.
Id like to know how close this friend is to her dad and whether he has business dealings with him. If he financially benefits from being in good with him then Im sure any funny business with the daughter could be a basis for murder.
It would be interesting to know what the autopsy shows. Like... was she pregnant?
I know Im just speculating and its insensitive but Im serious trying to make sense of this.
Wow! That is some pretty sick speculation....
I feel very sorry for this girls family. I wish people who commit suicide would stop and think of their families and how much pain they are going to cause them.
Ditto and ditto!
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