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Princeton graduate student found deceased at off-campus residence

No foul play is suspected, according to VP W. Rochelle Calhoun

Isabel Richardson / The Daily Princetontian

Content Warning: The following article contains mention of death. 

University Counseling services are available at 609-258-3141, and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 988. A Crisis Text Line is also available in the United States; text HOME to 741741. Students can contact residential college staff and the Office of Religious Life for other support and resources. For employees, Carebridge counseling services are available 24/7 by calling (800) 437-0911. 


First year graduate student Maura Coursey was found dead on Jan. 26 at her off-campus residence.

A campus message from Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun sent this morning shared the tragic news.

“This is devastating news for Maura’s family and friends and for our community as a whole,” Calhoun wrote, “We extend our deepest sympathy to all those impacted by this loss.”

According to Calhoun’s email, no foul play is suspected in the death.

Coursey, originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, earned her B.A. from the University of Utah in 2016 before joining the Master of Public Affairs program at the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), where she was studying domestic policy. 

SPIA Dean Amaney Jamal also sent a message to the SPIA community about Coursey’s passing.


“Words cannot express our pain and sorrow for this devastating loss. We will miss her terribly as we mourn and grieve together,” Jamal wrote.

Jamal also shared details of Coursey’s involvement with public service. In 2019, Coursey worked at YWCA Utah’s domestic violence shelter. Coursey then served as “the primary provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services for resettled refugees at the International Rescue Committee in the greater Salt Lake Valley” through a position at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which she accepted in 2021. According to Jamal, Coursey’s close work with clients at both organizations “fostered a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how different social issues intersect and exacerbate one another,” leading her to pursue a graduate degree in public policy. 

Princeton Town Police and the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office were not immediately available for comment. Because Coursey was found off campus, this case falls outside of the jurisdiction of Princeton’s Department of Public Safety. 

Both Jamal’s and Calhoun’s emails shared information for a university-wide zoom gathering in remembrance of Coursey that will be held on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. ET. There will also be an in-person gathering on Monday, Jan. 30 at 4:30 p.m. ET in Robertson Hall, where SPIA is housed.

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Calhoun also stressed the importance of community after this loss. 

“It is especially important for us to reach out to support one another at times like these,” she wrote.

Bridget O’Neill is a news contributor for the ‘Prince.’ 

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