Eckerd community mourns the loss of Ally Willen

May 2, 2015

The Eckerd College community is mourning the loss of Ally Willen, a junior Human Development major who was studying abroad in New Zealand for the Spring Semester.

Ally was hiking with fellow students from the University of Otago at Mount Aspiring National Park when she became separated from the group as the weather turned bad. While all of us at Eckerd hoped for her safe return, authorities found her body Saturday New Zealand time.

“Ally was a kind and caring person who was loved by all who knew her,” said Eckerd President Donald R. Eastman III. “She was deeply committed to her studies and to serving others. The Eckerd community is grateful for the time we had with Ally and grieve together for her family and friends. Ally had a joy for life that reminds us of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: It is not the length of life, but the depth of life.”

Plans are underway for a memorial service on the Eckerd campus. Details will be announced at a later time.

For Eckerd students, counselors are available 24 hours a day and can be reached through Campus Safety at 727-864-8269 or Residence Life through an RA.