Sunday, April 03, 2011

Saint Mary’s University mourns loss of freshman Millie Harrison

WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is mourning the loss of freshman Millie Harrison, who died unexpectedly Saturday, April 2, on campus, due to apparent natural causes.

Harrison, 19, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was known as an outgoing and charismatic student on the Saint Mary’s campus. A theatre major studying stage management and communications, she was active with theatre productions and was a member of the student Second Page Comedy Troupe. She also served as an Admission Ambassador and played an active role with KSMR, the campus radio station.

“It is heartbreaking to see a young person, so filled with spirit, taken from us too soon,” said Brother William Mann, Saint Mary’s president. “We join together in gratitude for the gift of life Millie so freely shared, and in remembrance of the joy and impact of her life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Millie’s family and friends as we all try to come to terms with such a tremendous loss.”

Gary Diomandes, professor of theatre and dance, said, “Millie was an excellent student. She worked hard and earned top-notch grades. But the best thing about her was her sense of humor and fun-loving personality. She instantly made friends; everyone who met her, adored her.”

“She was a theatre major and wanted to be a stage manager,” Diomandes said. “She was very talented in the technical aspects, and she was interested in every aspect of theatre. She was good at everything she tried.” Diomandes said Harrison was the production stage manager for Saturday’s planned performance of student-produced one-act plays. “We canceled that performance, but (her classmates) all wanted to do it (for her) on Sunday as scheduled.”

A prayer service was held Saturday night at Saint Mary’s with several hundred students attending. A memorial service to honor Harrison’s life is planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, in Page Theatre.

Counselors will continue to be available to students in the Saint Mary’s Wellness Center.