Cops: Penn student commits suicide in Center City

Madison Holleran was "bright and well-liked."
Madison Holleran was "bright and well-liked."
Posted: January 21, 2014

THE MORE you laugh, the longer you live," 19-year-old Madison Holleran, a University of Pennsylvania freshman, wrote on her Twitter profile.

Now, Holleran's friends, family and classmates are trying to figure out when her laughter stopped and why she decided she couldn't live anymore.

Holleran, a native of Allendale, N.J., jumped from a parking-garage roof on 15th Street near Spruce in Center City about 7 p.m. Friday, according to Philadelphia police.

Her death was ruled a suicide.

Holleran was a graduate of Northern Highlands High School, where she was captain of both her track and soccer teams. She belonged to Penn's varsity track and field team and was enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Steve Dolan, Penn's director of track and field, said the team was deeply saddened by the loss of Holleran.

"This is a challenging time for everyone involved with the program, but we will support each other in the weeks to come and help her teammates and friends find their own ways to honor her memory," he wrote. "We will always carry her in our hearts."

By all accounts on social media, Holleran appeared to be a bright, beautiful girl with a little sister who looked up to her, parents who loved her and a ton of friends. She enjoyed running, tennis and Jon Bon Jovi, whom, she wrote, "is a hunk and a half #eventhoughheislike50."

Holleran's last public posts on social media came on Friday, when she posted a photo of the city and one of her smiling with friends to Instagram.

Penn president Amy Gutmann said in a statement that the school will provide counseling to Holleran's friends this week.

"She was bright and well-liked with an incredible future ahead of her," Gutmann wrote. "There are simply no words that can properly convey the sense of heartache that we all feel at such a tragic loss."


On Twitter: @FarFarrAway

Online: ph.ly/crime

Blog: ph.ly/Delco

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