A message of condolence on the death of Shannon Jones

Dear Cornell Community,

On this Thanksgiving weekend, I am deeply saddened to tell you that we have lost a member of our Cornell family, Shannon Jones.

Shannon, a 23-year-old upperclassman in the College of Engineering, died on Thursday evening in her residence in Cayuga Heights. There is an ongoing investigation into the circumstances of her death.

My heart goes out to Shannon's family and friends, who had no way to prepare for this unexpected and tragic incident.

Shannon was an Independent major in engineering with interests in controls and avionics engineering in the field of aerospace. She was a member of Professor Mason Peck's Violet student satellite project team. In Professor Peck's words: "Shannon had an infectious enthusiasm for exploring space and building our future in it. She helped figure out how to make Violet's star tracker work, and when Violet launches next year and takes its first images of the stars, we'll have Shannon to thank for it."

Shannon had friends and interests across campus. She was a member of the Teszia Belly Dance Troupe and had an active interest in theater.

With our campus closed and many of us away from Ithaca as we learn of this sad news, I encourage you to reach out to others for support and please know that you can access our counseling resources at a distance. These resources are available to those currently in Ithaca as well as to those who will be returning to campus after the Thanksgiving break. The College of Engineering will be announcing a community support meeting planned for Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, and we will share more detailed information on CUInfo and on our home page at cornell.edu.

On behalf of the entire Cornell community, I extend our heartfelt condolences to Shannon's mother and brother, her family and friends. I ask that you join me in taking time over the coming days to remember Shannon as we all try to make sense of this deep loss for our community.


David J. Skorton

Support services are available to all members of the Cornell community. Students may consult with counselors from Gannett Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) by calling 607-255-5155.

Employees may call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program at 607-255-2673. The Ithaca-based Crisisline is available at 607-272-1616. For additional resources, visit caringcommunity.cornell.edu.