Loss of Student Leaves Lindsey Wilson College Community in Mourning


The Lindsey Wilson College community is mourning the death of freshman student-athlete and communication major, Mercedes Shaday Smith of Cincinnati, OH. She was found unresponsive in McCandless Residence Hall early Thursday morning.

COLUMBIA, KY. -- The Lindsey Wilson College community is mourning the death of a freshman student-athlete after she was found dead in her dorm room early Thursday morning.

Mercedes Smith, 18, a communication freshman and member of the LWC track and field team from Cincinnati, OH, was found unresponsive in her room in McCandless Hall, 220 Holloway Drive. There was no indication of foul play and student safety was never a concern. 

"We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mercedes," said Lindsey Wilson President William T. Luckey Jr. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and teammates and the entire LWC community during this incredibly difficult time."

LWC track and field head coach Jamaine Gordon said Smith had a vibrant personality that lit up the room.

"Mercedes was a good-spirited person who showed promise in her future," said Gordon. "She was a fun and loving person and everyone enjoyed being around her. She will be truly missed."

Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management Dean Adams says the college is providing a number of resources for students who wish to seek counseling.

"Anytime you learn of a death in a community, it's a shock," said Adams. "Everybody is going to deal with this in their own way. There is no right way or no wrong way. But LWC will be solely focused on supporting those who loved Mercedes."

Counseling services for students and the entire LWC community are available by calling 270-384-7484 or contacting campus ministries at 270-384-8144.

A campus vigil is planned for 9 p.m. CT, April 24 at Blue Raider Stadium to honor the memory of Smith.

A GoFundMe account has been created by friends of the family for Mercedes Smith. Contributions can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/mercedes-shaday-smith?pc=em_db_co2876_v1&rcid=52d8bfd39bbe4f9d9790725c52d3407c