skip to main content

University Mourns the Loss of Undergraduate Student


Fordham mourns the loss of Elliott Copeland, a rising senior at the Gabelli School of Business, who died on June 19 from injuries he sustained after being hit by a car in Manhattan last week. He was 21.

Elliott Copeland

Elliott Copeland

“It goes without saying that Elliott’s family and loved ones will be in our prayers this week,” said Joseph M. McShane, SJ, president of Fordham. “They have sustained a terrible loss, and our hearts are broken for them, and for Elliott. I ask that you be especially kind to one another, and to yourselves, this week, as we come together as a community to mourn our losses.”

The New York Police Department is investigating Copeland’s death, which at this point appears to be an accident.

A memorial service in Copeland’s honor will be held at Our Lady’s Chapel (University Church lower level) on the Rose Hill campus on June 23 at 6:30 p.m.

“We will support Elliott’s family as best we can in their we can in their grief, and will likewise do everything in our power to help his friends and loved ones at Fordham cope with his loss,” Father McShane said.

A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Copeland was a 2013 graduate of Ravenscroft School. At Fordham he was majoring in business administration with a concentration in finance. He was active in several organizations on campus, including the Fordham Finance Society and Alternative Investments Club.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic event. Every Gabelli School student is truly one of our own—a member of our school family,” said Donna Rapaccioli, PhD, dean of the business school. “Elliott, his family members, and his friends, at Fordham and elsewhere, are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Copeland was an avid rugby player and was a captain for Fordham’s rugby football club. In an outpouring of grief on social media, his teammates described his “pure joy for life” and his generous presence to friends and acquaintances.

Elliott Copeland

Elliott Copeland on the rugby pitch. Photo courtesy of Fordham Athletics.

“He was always so, so genuinely nice to me whenever our paths crossed,” said Kyle Morton, a rising junior at Fordham College at Rose Hill and a fellow Raleigh native. “It’s abundantly clear tonight how many lives he touched both in Raleigh and at Fordham.”

Copeland aspired to work in the financial industry, possibly in corporate finance. He was an intern at Tapad, a New York-based marketing technology firm, and held previous internships at deVere Group, Campbell Alliance, and Empire Wealth Strategies.

In addition to achieving much both in the classroom and on the rugby field, Copeland volunteered regularly. He spent four years as a volunteer with the Special Olympics, and for three consecutive years he joined Reach Mission Trips, a nonprofit organization that ran annual, weeklong service trips to low-income communities around the United States.

“We were simply devastated to hear the news this weekend, and have joined Elliott’s coaches and teammates on the rugby team in mourning his passing,” said Christopher Rodgers, dean of students at Rose Hill.

“He was clearly much loved by the men on the squad, and our staff will be reaching out to them and others who knew Elliott to offer support and our prayers.”

His funeral service will be held Friday, June 24, at 2 p.m.  
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 1520 Canterbury Road, Raleigh, NC 27608.
A reception will follow at North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Ravenscroft Scholarship Funds or the Susan G. Komen fund. 

Staff from Counseling and Psychological Services, Campus Ministry, and the Dean of Students Office will be standing by this week to help all who are grappling with Copeland’s loss.

The Counseling Center can be reached directly at:

Lincoln Center: (212) 636-6225
Rose Hill: (718) 817-3725 

Campus Ministry can be reached at:

Lincoln Center: (212) 636-6267
Rose Hill: (718) 817-4500

Students may also contact a resident assistant or resident director at any time to request assistance or to talk.


Comments are closed.