Statement from IU President Michael McRobbie on recent student deaths

  • Oct. 3, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has issued the following statement on the deaths of IU Bloomington students Yaolin Wang and Joseph Smedley II:

"The positive energy and excitement associated with the early weeks of a new academic year on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington has been sadly and abruptly shattered this week, as tragedy struck the campus twice in a very public fashion with the untimely deaths of two promising students.

"Yaolin Wang was a junior transfer student who had just begun her IU journey this fall, but who already had immersed herself in the Bloomington campus community, while Joseph Smedley II was a sophomore biochemistry major from Indianapolis who had many friends on campus.

"Any time a student dies, the entire campus community is diminished, and to lose two students in a span of days multiplies our collective grief and sense of mourning. To the family and friends of Yaolin and Joseph, I extend our deepest sympathies on behalf of the entire Indiana University family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of unfathomable sorrow and loss.

"To students who feel they need some extra support in dealing with these tragic events, resources are available to help. IU Counseling and Psychological Services has counselors available around-the-clock and I would encourage you to make use of this service by calling 812-855-5711 and selecting option 1 at the prompt.

"There is no way to prepare for the sudden and premature loss of life that has occurred in our community this week. The best we can do, perhaps, is to support one another and make the time to the cherish our friends and loved ones every day.

"Again, our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends of Yaolin Wang and Joseph Smedley, both of whom have left us far too early."

Media Contacts

Mark Land

Associate vice president, IU Communications