'Beautiful' and 'well-known' college student dies at South Carolina fraternity party

Elise Solé

A “well-known” college student died during a reportedly alcohol-fueled fraternity party in South Carolina.

On Friday, Caroline Smith, 20, a sophomore student at Furman University in Greenville, was drinking and talking to her boyfriend at a Kappa Alpha party on Hilton Head Island, when she felt sick, according to the Island Packet.

“Moments later (the boyfriend) advised she fell to the ground and was unresponsive,” a police report read, according to the Island Packet. Smith’s boyfriend began performing CPR until Fire Rescue arrived and soon pronounced her dead.

Smith’s big brother, a junior student at Furman, was at the party and reportedly told police his sister did not have any known medical problems.

Kappa Alpha canceled its spring formal on Saturday. Jesse S. Lyons, assistant executive director for the Advancement of Kappa Alpha Order, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “Kappa Alpha Order (KA) and the members of the Furman Chapter are devastated by the heartbreaking loss of Caroline Smith. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, which includes several KA’s, friends, and Kappa Delta sorority sisters. Caroline was an attendee, along with chapter members and other Furman students, at an event in Hilton Head organized by the chapter. The Saturday night formal event that had been planned was not held. KA members and the national organization are coordinating and cooperating with the University and authorities, as well as coordinating with the University to provide counseling resources for members and to support memorials for Caroline. Our hearts are with Caroline’s family and the members and students of Kappa Alpha Order, Furman, and Kappa Delta as they grieve.”

On Tuesday night, the university held a memorial service for Smith, a history and a communications major from Atlanta, Georgia. “As you might imagine, the loss of Caroline has been difficult for all who knew her, and we’re focused on making sure we provide the campus community and her family with the support they need and an opportunity to remember her,” Vince Moore, the director of news and media relations at Furman University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Moore also told the Island Packet that Smith was “well known on campus and liked.”

“The preliminary autopsy did not reveal a cause of death,” Maj. Bob Bromage of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The cause or manner of death is pending medical and toxicology studies.”

University president Elizabeth Davis wrote on Facebook: “…The university extends its most heartfelt condolences to Caroline’s family and her friends. I hope all of you will do the same during this time of profound sorrow. As a close and caring community, such a loss impacts all of us, and we are reminded how fragile life can be. It is important that we console one another in our grief and seek help if we need it…Please take a moment to remember the life of Caroline and her time as a member of our community. May you find peace and comfort during this difficult time.”

People who knew Smith responded that she was “beautiful” and a “true joy” with a “contagious smile” and an “energizer bunny personality.”

A spokesperson for Smith’s sorority Kappa Delta did not reply to Yahoo Lifestyle. The sorority wrote on Facebook, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Zeta Pi-Furman sister Caroline Smith. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family, friends and our KD sisters. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. AOT.”

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.