SPRINGFIELD, Missouri- “It is with a heavy heart that Drury University notified our campus community this evening that a member of the Panther family has died,” an official statement released today read.
Wen Xu, 22, a swimmer and international student from Shanghai,China, was pronounced dead this evening at Mercy Hospital. Xu, who goes by the American name Ariel, was with the team in swim practice this afternoon when she experienced a medical emergency. Paramedics were called immediately. Ariel was taken to Mercy and pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Her next of kin has been notified in China.
Wen was an Advertising/PR major and was a decorated member of the women’s swimming team. She held several records, including events in the Breech Pool, Great Lakes Valley Conference, and NCAA-II National Meets. She was a two-time all-academic all-conference award winner, which means she maintained a 3.30 cumulative GPA. See her full bio on the Drury Panthers website here.
Drury’s counselors are offering support to Wen’s teammates and her roommate this evening, and we are the counselors and our university chaplain are available to the entire student body, as well as faculty and staff, for any needed support. A celebration of life will be planned for the campus community at a later date.
“This is a terrible tragedy, and we ask that the community keep our students and Ariel’s family in their thoughts and prayers. Our condolences are with Ariel’s family, and with her teammates and coaches,” said Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd.