Cullinan '08 found dead in Calif.

by Ben Nunnery | 8/19/08 2:56am

Katie Cullinan '08 was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the women's rugby team.
by Courtesy of / The Dartmouth

Cullinan, who hailed from Wellesley, Mass., had not yet graduated from the College and had planned to study abroad Fall term, according to Dean of the College Tom Crady. Her obituary in the Boston Globe reported that she had planned to study in Rome.

At Dartmouth, Cullinan, 22, was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and played on the Dartmouth women's rugby team. Head coach Debra Archambault '85 said Cullinan was very well-liked and a great athlete.

"[Cullinan was] one of the team's favorite people socially and always had a great perspective on things," she said. "She always had a great sense of humor."

Kappa president Nell Beattie '09 said Cullinan had a "strong and unique presence" in Kappa in a statement she issued on behalf of the sorority.

"Her energy, wit and spunk gave her the ability to find humor in any situation," she said. "She never failed to reach out to other sisters, exhibiting an ingrained sense of kindness and genuineness. Our hearts and condolences go out to her family. She will always be remembered within our sisterhood as one of our kindest and most loyal sisters, and we feel a deep sadness at her loss."

Abigail Cullinan recalled her sister's vibrant personality and outgoing disposition.

"She was crazy, in a really good way, and really friendly," she said. "She could make friends with anyone. She was really, really a wonderful person."

Crady, who was initially contacted by Cullinan's aunt Monday morning, said the College is "deeply saddened" by the news, adding that he sends his condolences to the family.

"There's nothing worse than losing a child," he said. "They're having a very tough time right now, as you can imagine."

In a previous interview with The Dartmouth, Director of Counseling and Health Services Mark Reed estimated that there are two to three suicide attempts by students each term. Crady urged students dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts to utilize the mental health resources available.

"Any student who feels the need to speak to a counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist should certainly seek out help at Dick's House," he said. "The stigma of doing that is much less than it was 10 years ago."

Crady said he could not comment on any issues relating specifically to Cullinan.

Cullinan was a 2004 graduate of Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart.

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