Mayer ’13, passionate member of SEAC, found dead near College’s Lake Matoaka

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October 19, 2010

12:47 AM

Whitney Mayer ’13 died of an apparent suicide Thursday night. She was discovered near Lake Matoaka early Friday morning.

Mayer was a Sharpe Scholar from Plano, Tex. involved with the Student Environmental Action Coalition. She is the daughter of Diane and Jeffrey Mayer ’78.

Mayer became involved with SEAC this year, taking charge of several projects. She organized and led the Family Weekend’s biodiversity tour.

“It was really amazing to see how passionate she got about the issues,” SEAC Co-Facilitator Lauren Edmonds ’11 said.

Drew Chlan ’13 described Whitney as a nature lover.

“Whitney is and was a bright, bubbling person who found joy in all the activities she undertook, especially with interactions in nature,” Chlan said in an e-mail. “Nothing made her happier than exploring the woods.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Virginia Ambler ’88, Ph.D. ’06 informed the campus of Mayer’s death Friday morning in an e-mail. Members of the Office for Community Engagement and Scholarship and SEAC gathered Friday night in honor of Mayer’s memory. Mayer’s parents and brother visited with her friends and College faculty members Saturday in Williamsburg.

Despite her relative inexperience, Steph Gans ’11 said that Mayer was heavily involved in planning SEAC activities.

“I was very inspired by Whitney. She was a new member to SEAC this year, and helped to form one of our new campaigns,” Gans said. “She also would water the campus gardens rain or shine.”

Gans said that Mayer’s passion defined her.

“She was always somewhat quiet in meetings, but whenever she did speak, people were interested in what she had to say because of her unique perspective on things, and also how bright and enthusiastic she was,” Gans said. “Not only was she a great activist, but she also was just a wonderful person. She was really one [of] the sweetest people that I have known. She always laughed and smiled, and just brought a light-heartedness to the groups that she participated in.”

Mayer is the third College student to die of an apparent suicide in eight months.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

_Editor’s Note: Flat Hat News Editor Ian Brickey contributed to this article._

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