Editor’s notes: If you or someone you know may have suicidal thoughts, you can call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or chat online at 988lifeline.org.
Maura Coursey, a first-year master’s in public affairs student at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), was found dead in her off-campus residence Jan. 26, according to a message from University administrators sent to all students on Jan. 27.
No foul play was suspected, the message said, and no cause of death was given. Julie Willmot, director of communications for Mercer County, said in a Jan. 30 email that the Middlesex County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Jan. 28 and the results will not be released until a toxicology report is completed. In the recent death of another Princeton student, Misrach Ewunetie ’24, toxicology results were reported more than nine weeks after the autopsy, which was also performed by Middlesex County.
Dean Amaney Jamal, in an email to the SPIA community, wrote that prior to enrolling in the MPA program, Coursey had worked for the International Rescue Committee, providing domestic violence prevention and intervention services for recently resettled refugees in the greater Salt Lake Valley. A 2016 graduate of the University of Utah, she was studying domestic policy at Princeton.
“Words cannot express our pain and sorrow for this devastating loss,” Jamal wrote. “We will miss her terribly as we mourn and grieve together.”
The University provided students a link to a Zoom gathering on the evening of Jan. 27 to remember Coursey. An in-person gathering for the entire campus community will be held in Robertson Hall at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 30, the first day of spring-semester classes.
The messages to students included links to additional resources and support, including 24/7 counseling from Counseling & Psychological Services, confidential support from chaplains in the Office of Religious Life, and support services in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School and residential colleges.
Four Princeton students — one graduate student and three undergraduates — have died in the past nine months. Ewunetie, Jazz Chang ’23, and Justin Lim ’25 succumbed to mental health struggles. A University staff member died by suicide on campus in September.
This story has been updated from its original version.