The University Record, January 22, 2001

U-M community mourns student

By Julie Peterson
Office of the Vice President for Communications

Private funeral and religious services for Candy R. Wei were held Jan. 19 in Ann Arbor.

Wei, 20, a sophomore in the School of Art and Design from Durham, N.C., died Jan. 16 in her room at Mosher-Jordan Residence Hall. Preliminary findings from the medical examiner are consistent with the conclusion that she took her own life.

“The University community is greatly saddened by the death of Candy. I want to convey the condolences of the entire University community to the family, friends and classmates of Ms. Wei as they begin to deal with their inconceivable loss,” said Provost Nancy Cantor.

Wei’s mother, Prof. Jing Wang, and father, Young Wei, said they greatly appreciate the respect for their privacy that has been shown by members of the community.

“Candy knew this would cause us pain, but she would want people to remember her positively and think of her with happy memories,” Prof. Wang said.

Mr. Wei said Candy was special because of her great artistic gifts, which they discovered in her at a very young age. Her dream, he said, was to become the art director of a magazine. She was interested in artistic media of all types.

Prof. Wang said she is thinking of editing her daughter’s poetry, short stories and prose into a volume and creating a collection of her paintings, sculpture, photography and other artistic work. A scholarship also is being established in her honor in the School of Art and Design.

Royster Harper, vice president for student affairs, encouraged those in distress to seek out support services offered by the campus and community. “University grief counselors have been providing support to individuals in need since we learned of this tragedy and will continue to do so in the coming weeks,” she said.

The Counseling and Psychological Services Web site (www.umich.edu/~caps) provides important information on recognizing the signs of severe depression or suicidal risk.

Counseling is available to all students through Counseling and Psychological Services, Room 3100, Michigan Union, (734) 764-8312, and to faculty and staff through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, Room 2076, Administrative Services Building, (734) 936-8600. After-hours and weekend assistance is available in crisis situations from U-M Psychiatric Emergency, (734) 936-4747.

William Zeller, director of University Housing, noted that all residence staff receive training in crisis intervention, which includes what to do in the event of a medical emergency in a residence hall. “We always hope it is a part of their training they never have to employ, but regretfully, as was the case this week, they need to be prepared to respond swiftly and appropriately to emergency situations. We are proud of how the staff in Mosher-Jordan Hall have provided support to the members of their community in such a sensitive and caring manner.”

A memorial service also will be held Jan. 28 at Duke University in Durham, N.C., where Prof. Wang holds a faculty appointment.