A 19-year-old Georgetown University student fell to his death from the window of his fourth floor dormitory room early yesterday after a round of Labor Day weekend partying, university officials and students reported.
Edward Whalen, a sophomore from Kankakee, Ill., who started school at Georgetown last Wednesday after transferring from Loyoly University in Chicago, was found semiconscious by passersby at 4:45 a.m. on a brick path in front of Healy Hall. He died at Georgetown University Hospital shortly before 5 a.m., school officials reported.
"There is no suspicion of foul play," said university spokesman David Fulghum.
D.C. police said they are still investigating the case. The city medical examiner's report on the death was not complete yesterday, police said.
In a similar incident in January 1980, Thomas McGlynn, fell 65 feet from the roof of a campus building, but survived, after spending an evening at a beer-and-gin party.
Whalen, described by friends as outgoing and happy-go-lucky was enrolled at Georgetown's school of foreign service. He would sit often on the 4-foot wide window ledge to "get an inspiration . . . and just think about things," said a friend, Josh Gillon, who lived in the same dormitory.
Whalen's mother, Bernadette, said yesterday in a telephone interview from Kankakee that he had told her he often sat on the ledge of the window to look out over the Potomac River. She said she told him, "Edward, don't do that. It's dangerous."
She described him as a "super kid and a super son, full of life."
An avid musician, who wrote and sang his own songs in a mellow voice, Whalen was described by Gillon as a "great guy, very warm, very sentimental."
"I couldn't believe how good he was," said Chris Roskey, a friend who heard Whalen perform his songs.
The husky, dark-haired youth, the youngest of three sons, had spent some time Friday night at the piano in Healy Hall entertaining his friends, Gillon said. He then went to the campus pub, had some beers and continued on to at least one other Labor Day party on campus, Gillon said.
Whalen was planning to attend school in West Germany next year on a scholarship, his mother said. He liked to write about politics and had just found a writing job through the campus career planning and placement office, Roskey said.
He also liked to joke around, Gillon said, and was planning to stick a paper alligator on the bronze statue of Archbiship John Carroll to mock the preppie look symbolized by the alligator shirts worn by some students on campus. Instead, he placed a rose in Carroll's hand. Yesterday, it was still there.