Mourning Two Duke Students

Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, tells students of the deaths Sunday of two Duke students.

Larry Moneta, Duke's vice president for student affairs, sent the following email to students Monday:

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the deaths of two Duke students this weekend. These were unrelated incidents and neither death was due to foul play but no further details have yet been released by the medical examiners.Kaila Brown was pursuing her Ph.D in English and was from Apple Valley, Calif. The English Department community and The Graduate School are working on memorial plans and will share further information about opportunities for students, faculty and friends to gather as they develop.

Duke sophomore Alexander Rickabaugh was a Pratt student. He lived in Avalon House on West Campus and was from Winston-Salem, N.C. A gathering in Alexander’s memory is scheduled for 7 p.m. this evening in the House M commons room of Kilgo Quad. CAPS counselors and other support staff will be present.

These losses are heartbreaking to family, friends and the entire Duke community. We will do all we can to offer support and comfort to all. I urge each of you to take advantage of all opportunities for care should you or anyone you know be in distress. Graduate and Professional students can seek help from faculty, your deans, and the various supports in your schools. All students can contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 919-660-1000 and in an emergency, please call Duke Police at 919-684-2444 or by dialing 911.

You can also contact Duke Reach ( at 919- 681-2455 or at

This is a time to care for one another and to care for ourselves. I want to share my condolences to the Brown and Rickabaugh families and to all of you who had the pleasure of being part of Alex’s and Kaila’s lives.With sorrow,

Larry MonetaVice President for Student Affairs