UPDATE: A university spokesman released a statement about Patricia “Pat” Williams, the 64-year-old woman found dead on the 9th floor of Gladfelter Hall this morning.
“It is with great sadness that Temple University reports the death of Patricia ‘Pat’ Williams, an administrative coordinator for the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts,” the statement read. “Mrs. Williams, of Philadelphia, served the university for 47 years and will be greatly missed by her family, friends and co-workers. She was 64 years old.”
Professors found Williams dead on the ninth floor of Gladfelter Hall early Monday morning, The Temple News has learned.
Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the death didn’t appear suspicious, but police were still investigating this morning. The employee’s name has not yet been released, pending notification of her family, Leone said.
Security officials near the entrance of the building told The Temple News the ninth floor was closed and that classes had been relocated for the day.
Students in the lobby mentioned a “mint” smell. When asked about the smell, officials said, “they’re cleaning, that’s all I can tell you.”
Jay Lockenour, chair of the university’s history department, said he was in his office in Room 909 when Williams was found. He identified her as a department coordinator, who did work similar to that of a secretary.
“She was like the nerve center [of the department],” he said. “She will be dearly missed.”
Lockenour worked with Williams, who started at Temple in 1968 in the urban studies department, he said.
“I had to go into emergency crisis mode,” Lockenour said, comforting those who found her body.
“She was in poor health,” he said. “People were looking for her and they found her in an office.”
The office was not hers, Lockenour added. Williams’ son was in to talk to someone from the Medical Examiner’s Office at the scene when she was found, he said.
Kaicey Baylor, a freshman journalism major, said one of her classes was relocated because of the incident.
“We asked [our teacher Minju Bae] and she didn’t know either,” she said. “She said she got an anonymous email about a paramedic and telling her she had to move the class. All the teachers on the floor got it.”
“It felt really weird and awkward because people didn’t know what was going on, you know?” she added. “Is there something wrong with the building? Somebody dying wasn’t at all on our minds.”
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.
EJ Smith and Julie Christie contributed reporting.
Editor’s Note: It was previously reported that a 65-year-old woman was found dead. Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone told a reporter that the woman was 65 years old Monday around noon. A spokesman emailed another reporter with the woman’s identity and correct age around 4:30 p.m. Monday.