Mom of Graduate Falls to Death at Ceremony

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A tragic event unfolded at the Ohio State University (OSU) spring graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 5th, 2024 in Columbus, Ohio. A woman named Larissa Brady, 53, from Georgia, plunged from the stands of the Ohio Stadium during the ceremony, resulting in her fatal fall.

The Columbus Police Department is conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fall from a height of 136 feet. Preliminary findings suggest that the fall was neither accidental nor a result of foul play, pointing toward the possibility of suicide. The Franklin County coroner’s office confirmed the death of Brady, who was identified through her fingerprints, and is also the mother of one of the graduates.

The tragedy occurred around 12:30 p.m. EDT when graduates were entering the stadium. Upon receiving a report of the fall, medics were dispatched to the stadium’s gates. Unfortunately, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene by the emergency personnel.

Reacting to the incident, OSU spokesperson Benjamin Johnson said, “Ohio State is grieving the death of Larissa Brady, a family member of one of our graduates. Our hearts go out to her family and friends during this exceptionally difficult time”.

According to witnesses, the fall occurred near gate 30 of the stadium. Following the incident, police cordoned off the affected area. The university offered counseling and support resources to students and attendees who were visibly upset by the event.

A witness, recounting the incident, said, “It was shocking, absolutely unbelievable.” They remembered seeing an individual fall as the last group of graduates were entering the stadium, specifically near the tunnel used by OSU football players during home games.

Johnson further stated, “We will provide counseling and other support resources for anyone affected by today’s incident.”

However, the handling of the incident by the university has left graduates, staff, and attendees frustrated. The graduation ceremony, which lasted three hours, proceeded without any interruption or acknowledgment of the tragic incident by the university officials.

Anthony Mullen, a recent graduate of OSU’s psychology program, expressed his mixed feelings of excitement and shock on what should have been a joyous occasion. Mullen’s family had traveled from Canton, Ohio to celebrate his graduation.

Mullen was disappointed that the university did not address the death during the ceremony, leaving students distressed. “My heart goes out to them [the person’s family],” he said.

Dr. Pranav Jani, a member of the OSU faculty, while understanding the pressures faced by the university, believes that some form of action should have been taken by the administration.

Dr. Jani suggested that a moment of silence or a brief announcement acknowledging the tragedy could have been appropriate. He expressed his shock and anger over learning about the death through a message rather than directly from the university.

Though there’s a general understanding that the entire graduation ceremony couldn’t be canceled, both Mullen and Dr. Jani feel that the university’s total silence on the matter was a serious oversight.

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