Sophomore dies after fall from window

Sophomore Taylor Hubbard died Sunday morning after falling from a fifth-story window in Guthridge Hall. He was 20.

Hubbard, a biomedical engineering student from Lexington, Md, was taken off life support and died shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday morning, Hubbard’s father told The Hatchet.

Hubbard was brought to the GW Hospital at 4:25 a.m. Saturday after a student called 911 after finding Hubbard in the plaza behind Guthridge Hall, D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Pete Piringer said. Hubbard sustained “multiple internal injuries,” according to a police report, which classified the incident as not suspicious.

Hubbard’s father said his son left campus – he lived in 2109 F Street this year – last Tuesday for the summer but came back Friday to help a friend move into summer housing. He slept in his friend’s room in Guthridge Hall Friday night.

The room, originally a quad, housed only three students this semester. Only one roommate was still residing in the room at the time of the incident. That student, a sophomore, declined to comment for this article. According to Hubbard’s father, the Guthridge Hall resident was asleep when police officers came to investigate.

Metropolitan Police are still investigating how Hubbard fell, and a public information officer said Sunday evening that there was no updates about the case.

Hubbard was found by a group of students coming back from a party early Saturday morning. Senior Jen Choi said she was walking back to South Hall around 4 a.m. when she and her friends found a male sprawled out on the grass in Guthridge Park.

“As we were walking along the way we saw this guy who was face up on the grass and we thought maybe he was just drunk and we kind of looked to see if he was ok,” Choi said. “But then we realized he was erratically breathing and that his wrist was swollen and he had cuts on his arm, and then we realized we had to call 911 or EMeRG.”

Choi said no one claiming they knew the victim showed up to the scene while emergency responders were there.

Classmates and friends said Hubbard was a happy, positive and outgoing person.

“That kid was outstanding, and there’s no words fully able to express every single thing he was to all of us,” sophomore Noel Behailu said. “Taylor was really nice to pretty much everyone. I don’t think I ever saw him mad or angry. He was just a positive person.”

Behailu and Hubbard met freshman year while they were both living on the Mount Vernon Campus, Behailu said. He remembers studying with Hubbard and sometimes playing soccer with the fellow engineering student, who he called “incredibly athletic.”

Sophomore Kelli Noel, a fellow biomedical engineering student, said she and Hubbard would often study together and hang around campus.

“He always took life with a smile,” Noel said. “Everyone really loved him.”

Hubbard was an ultimate frisbee and soccer enthusiast, friends said. He also was highly focused on his studies, spending hours studying before tests. This semester Hubbard was initiated into the Alpha Pi chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, a co-ed professional fraternity in chemistry.

“He was always studious, even from elementary school,” Wayne Hubbard, Taylor’s father, said. “He hated to get a bad grade in anything, even a B.”

Wayne said Hubbard hoped to continue his education in medicine. While at the hospital, Wayne said engineering students, former high school classmates and teachers came to visit Hubbard. President Steven Knapp also visited with the family Saturday afternoon.

“Taylor, he lived for his friends. His friendships were the most important thing to him. He just loved everyone he met,” Wayne said. “He was just quite a kid.”

Friends of Hubbard’s gathered Sunday afternoon in the basement of Potomac Hall to remember their outgoing, passionate friend. A representative from the University Counseling Center was also on hand for students who needed to talk about their loss.

“His company was the greatest gift anyone could ask for,” sophomore Daniel Kane said in an e-mail to fellow engineering students. “He could make you laugh like no other friend could. He helped in anyway he could, even if it meant a night spent in Gelman Library.”

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean David Dolling did not return initial requests for comment and directed all questions to the Office of External Relations Saturday evening.

Hubbard is the second student to die on campus in the last 18 months. Last January, sophomore Laura Treanor was found dead in her Ivory Tower dorm room. A medical examiner later found that Treanor died from acute alcohol intoxication, the clinical term for alcohol poisoning.

Knapp announced Hubbard’s death Sunday during the University’s Commencement ceremony. Those on the National Mall took a moment of silence for Hubbard.

“Our hearts go out to his family and his many friends in the George Washington community,” Knapp said.

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