K Community Responds to Death of Sophomore Emily Stillman

sophomore Emily StillmanThe Kalamazoo College community continues to grieve the death of sophomore Emily Stillman, who died Sunday, February 3 due to complications from bacterial meningitis. Emily, 19, was taken to Bronson Hospital in the early morning hours of February 1 from her residence hall. K administration and the Student Health Center learned the diagnosis later that morning and immediately began to work in close collaboration with the Kalamazoo County health department and Bronson’s epidemiology lab.

The health department provided two nurses to help K health professionals with education and prophylactic treatment of persons who had been in close contact (within three feet sometime during the previous seven days) with Emily. Those who may have had casual contact should not be affected. Through midday Tuesday Feb. 5, the health team provided prophylactic treatment to approximately 150 persons.

No additional cases of bacterial meningitis have been reported. According to the health department, the likelihood of additional cases of meningitis at Kalamazoo College is very low.

The Student Health Center continues to reach out to students to provide prophylactic antibiotic treatment, discuss symptoms of the illness, and discuss vaccination recommendations. (More information on bacterial meningitis is available from the Kalamazoo County epidemiology on-call line: 269–207–5783.) K Counseling Center staff members have also been available to students.

Emily’s funeral was held this morning at the Dorfman Chapel in Farmington Hills, Mich. Kalamazoo College provided bus transport for about 40 students, faculty, and staff. A special fund is being arranged in Emily’s memory to aid in the research and treatment of bacterial meningitis. Send donations to Temple Shir Shalom, 3999 Walnut Lake Rd., West Bloomfield, MI 48323. Phone: (248) 737-8700.

The Temple will hold donations until the fund is established.

Declaration of Major Day for K sophomores, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed until next Tuesday Feb 12, 11:30 in the Light Fine Arts Building lobby.