Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Memorial Scholarship for Madison Holleran

Penn track and field alums express xondolences for runner who died by suicide.

Memorial Scholarship for Madison Holleran

University of Pennsylvania runner Madison Holleran, 19, with her father, James, at Lehigh University at a track meet during the 2013-14 school year. (Instragram)
University of Pennsylvania runner Madison Holleran, 19, with her father, James, at Lehigh University at a track meet during the 2013-14 school year. (Instragram)

A memorial scholarship, sponsored by Penn track-and-field alumni, has been founded in memory of freshman Madison Holleran, who died by suicide on Jan. 17th. From their fundraising page on the website of the American  Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

"The alumni of the University of Pennsylvania Track and Field team are deeply saddened by the loss of Madison Holleran, a freshman runner on the women’s team. Such an intelligent, talented, and graceful student athlete is hard to come by, yet we were fortunate enough to call Madison one of our own.

"Only a fellow student athlete could begin to understand the pressures to be successful both on and off the field while balancing the other demands of college life. While most of our alumni did not know Madison personally, we wish she could have known firsthand the strength of this greater Penn Track and Field community. We wish we had been there with our collective experiences to lean on during her greatest time of need. Indeed, it is mainly through the strength and encouragement of the Penn Track and Field family that we persevered through our own struggles and truly appreciated the significance of our own achievements, both on and off the field, during and after college. No one should feel like it is his or her struggle to go alone; we—like no other—have been in those shoes.

"Madison Holleran will always remain a cherished member of the Penn Track and Field community. Her family, friends, classmates, coaches, and teammates are in our thoughts and prayers. Please join us in supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to honor her memory and prevent suicide from taking shining stars like Madison from us before their time."

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

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Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.


Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at polaner@phillynews.com.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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