The executive director of counseling and psychological services at the University of Pennsylvania jumped to his death Monday morning from the 17th floor of a Center City Philadelphia building, officials said.
Gregory Eells, 52, came to Penn six months ago to lead the department that counsels students with mental health problems. He had come from Cornell University, where he had worked for more than a decade and was an expert on resilience.
His death occurred about 6:40 a.m. along the 100 block of South Broad Street, where Eells had been living. It was ruled a suicide by the medical examiner’s office, said James Garrow, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
Eells’ mother, Jeanette Eells-Rich, said he had been down in recent months, saying the job was harder than he anticipated and had kept him from his wife and three children, who were still living in Ithaca, N.Y.
Penn in recent years has been rocked by a number of high profile student suicides, including the death of Madison Holleran, who jumped from a Center City parking garage in Philadelphia in 2014. There have been at least 14 student deaths by suicide since 2013. The parents of Olivia Kong, who killed herself in 2016, have sued Penn, alleging the university failed to help their daughter.
Eells took over as executive director of Penn’s counseling center in late March. He replaced Meeta Kumar, who had been leading the department following the departure of Bill Alexander. READ MORE: