Sorrow filled a Harlem church Monday where mourners said goodbye to a promising Fordham University student who fell to her death from the school’s iconic clock tower.
Friends and family at the Mt. Neboh Baptist Church on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard remembered Sydney Monfries as a loyal and ambitious go-getter, who was excited about the next chapter in her life and career.
The 22-year-old journalism student, a resident of Portland, Oregon, was just weeks away from receiving her coveted degree when she tripped on a landing and fell 40 feet through an opening in the stairs inside the Keating Hall tower with a group of fellow seniors early on April 14.
The stair climb is an informal rite of passage jaunt for graduating seniors. Officials said Monfries scaled the tower with friends to take pictures of the city.
Classmates had trouble getting the words out as they spoke.
"She has a way of making everyone around feel completely at ease" said one friend. "She always listened."
"The sadness that we're all experiencing is truly indescribable," said another friend. "Our hearts are broken."
Among the mourners was Instyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown
A makeshift memorial of flowers and candles was set up on the Keating Hall steps.
Monfries was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Greenburgh.