The death of the Temple University student who fell from the sixth floor of a dorm building has been ruled a suicide, the city Health Department said Wednesday.
Richard Dalcourt, a 19-year-old freshman, fell from the 1940 Residence Hall at Broad and Norris Streets about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Hahnemann University Hospital. According to a spokesman for the Department of Public Health, Dalcourt’s cause of death was “multiple blunt impact injuries.”
Dalcourt, a mechanical-engineering major, was a graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, in New Jersey.
“It is with tremendous sadness that I inform the Temple community of the death of Richard Dalcourt,” president Richard Englert said in a statement emailed to Temple students and staff. “We join Richard’s family and friends in mourning his loss.”
Counseling was made available to students.
College suicides have received increased attention in recent years. One study found that nationwide, college suicides rose from 9.6 for every 100,000 students in 2007 to 11.1 in 2013 — a 15 percent rise in the rate.
At the University of Pennsylvania, the death of 22-year-old graduate student Alfredo Abravanel in November of last year marked the 12th suicide at the school in less than four years.
And the January 2014 death of Madison Holleran, the successful track athlete who leaped to her death from the ninth story of a parking garage, made national headlines. An ESPN profile described Holleran as a “perfectionist” who struggled to reckon with inner turmoil.
The rash of suicides and the more commonplace struggle of competing with striving students at an elite university are the source of the term Penn Face, used to describe how outer appearances mask personal struggles.