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A Campus in Mourning - Bridget Kirby, Class of 2024

Monday, November 22, 2021

A tragic car accident occurred early Friday morning, November 19, 2021, which claimed the life of Carroll sophomore Bridget Kirby. With a community as close as Carroll’s, no corner of the campus has escaped the grief and sadness of this event. While nothing can fully prepare the college for a tragedy of this magnitude, Carroll’s faculty and staff are actively working to support students and others in the community.

Below is the message which was shared with Carroll’s students, faculty, and staff from President John Cech, as well as a follow-up message from Annette Walstad, Carroll’s Dean of Students, detailing the counseling and support services available to students.

Carroll’s community is deeply saddened by this unimaginable loss. Please keep the college and Bridget's family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers as we move through the difficult days ahead.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Dear Carroll Students, Faculty, and Staff,

It is with profound sadness that I share that Carroll sophomore Bridget Kirby from Spokane, Washington, died last night as the result of a tragic car accident. My deepest condolences go out to Bridget’s family, her friends and loved ones, and to our students, faculty, and staff who knew Bridget here at Carroll.

Counselors and support staff will be available in the Lower Campus Center from 1 – 4 pm today for our community to come together and support one another during this deeply sad time. Clergy will host a brief prayer service in the Lower Campus Center prior to 1:30.

All Saints Chapel is also available for quiet reflection and prayer. In addition, a Mass will be offered at 4:30 pm today in All Saints Chapel for all who wish to gather and pray.

This is a shocking and devastating loss for the Kirby family, Bridget’s classmates and friends, and many in our Carroll community. Our hearts are hurting by this tragedy and the impact it is having on many lives.

We will continue to share campus and community resources in additional communications. While previously planned travel finds me out-of-town today, I continue to be closely connected with the team on campus, and my prayers are with all of you.

Please keep Bridget and her family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers. I ask that you hold one another close in comfort and support during this incredibly difficult time.

Sincerely,

John E. Cech, Ph.D.
President

Friday, November 19, 2021

To our Carroll community,

In this time of great grief, please be assured of my prayers for and with all of you. Please know that you are not alone. There are many people on this campus, and others external to our Carroll community, who are prepared to support you during this time. 

There is a Mass at All Saints Chapel today at 4:30 pm to pray for Bridget's soul and to pray for her family during this difficult time. Dr. Cech will be returning from his meeting with the Montana presidents and will make it back in time to join the community at Mass and join us in prayer. Monsignor O'Neill and Fr. Bart Tolleson will be presiding over the Mass.  Therapy dogs will be available in the Campus Center following Mass.

In addition to the Carroll College counselors and resources, please find below an extensive list of resources found both online and in our community.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the contacts and resources listed below. Take care of yourself and one another.

My love and prayers are with all of you. 

Annette Walstad
Dean of Students

ON CAMPUS RESOURCES:

  • The Wellness Center, located in the basement of Guad. Hall has four counselors available to students Monday thru Friday, 9am - 4 pm. Zoom sessions are available for students in quarantine/isolation. 

    • For appointments, please call (406) 447-5441. 

      Personal Extensions:

    • Kerri Rigsby, Nurse (406) 447-5438
    • Rebekah Orr, Counselor (406) 447-4413
    • Beth Demmons, Counselor (406) 447-4996
    • Pam Campbell, Counselor (406) 447-4536
    • Lindy Coonen, Office Manager (406) 447-5441
  • On call Residential Life is available 24/7: 406-459-0540

  • Jason Grimmis is Campus Security & Public Safety. St. Charles 023, 406-447-4404, jgrimmis@carroll.edu

  • Chelsea Nottingham is the dedicated on-campus Victim Advocate through The Friendship Center. Chelsea is available to Carroll College students, faculty and staff.

HOTLINES:

COMMUNITY/ONLINE RESOURCES:

If you, or someone you know is contemplating suicide or experiencing a life threatening emergency, CALL 911 OR GO TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM.

  • Benefis Helena Northeast Urgent Care Center
    2960 Washington St.
    (406) 389-2555

  • St. Peter’s Hospital Emergency Room
    2475 Broadway Ave
    (406) 4442150

  • St. Peter’s Urgent Care
    2475 Broadway Ave
    (406) 447-2770

  • St. Peter’s Urgent Care North
    3330 Ptarmigan Lane
    (406) 433-5354

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the above mentioned contacts and resources. Take care of yourself and one another.