Temple University Reacts to Falling Death of Freshman Student


The tragic falling death of Rebecca “Becca” Kim, Temple University freshman, has students and faculty struggling as classes resume on Monday morning.

Temple’s president, Neil Theobald, sent out an email to all students on Friday morning to inform them of Kim’s passing and to offer support to those in need. His email read:

To the Temple community:

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Rebecca Kim, a first-year student in the College of Science and Technology. Ms. Kim died Thursday evening in a fall from a Center City building. Ms. Kim started at Temple last August, was a resident of Johnson Hall and was enrolled in the pre-pharmacy program. She was 18 years old.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

Tragic events like these have an impact on many in our community. Counseling for Temple students is available at Tuttleman Counseling Services. More information on counseling options is available at 215-204-7276 or at the Tuttleman Counseling Services website.

She began her freshman year at Temple just this past August after graduating from Wissahickon High School. During high school, Kim was a well rounded student as she spent most of her free time immersing herself in extracurricular activities and preparing for her days as a college students with honors and AP courses.

Her former high school principal, Lyn Fields says that Kim was well liked by her fellow students. She told Temple News, “We’re struggling. This is a kid that could have done anything. Everybody’s in shock.”

Others who knew her have described her as sweet, caring, humble, intelligent and kind. Many students noted that she was quick to smile and always ready to lend a hand to those in need.

Her friend and fellow classmate Rachelle Newman is one of many grappling with Kim’s sudden death. She told NBC Philadelphia, “It was a shock, a lot of shock. I really didn’t know how to react to it at first. I was sitting there frozen. I was like ‘whoa.’”

Sophomore student and finance major, William Rae, told USA Today College that a professor notified students of Kim’s death during an early morning class on Friday. “There was a look of surprise. We gave a moment of silence,” Rae says.

Kim was just 18 years old and had a life of promise laid out before her prior to tragically falling out of a window 8 stories high on Thursday. She was visiting two friends at the Art Institute of Philadelphia when she is thought to have been leaning out the window to take a photo. She fell moments later and landed on a 44 year old woman who was walking on the sidewalk below the apartment’s window.

Her death was originally seen as an unfortunate accident and police didn’t suspect foul play or suicide at the time. However, a crypitc Facebook post made by Kim just moments before she fell has brought forth even more questions. Her post simply read, “It was intentional.”

Those three words have many wondering what she meant by them and if they are perhaps a key into what Kim was thinking in her final moments.

Kim’s death and the events surrounding it are still under investigation by the Philadelphia Police as they seek answers to the many unanswered questions left in the wake of her fall.

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