Senior Sean Lenahan dies, shocking campus

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Yesterday morning, Sean Lenahan, a senior at Bloomsburg University, died at his apartment.

During a welfare check, police discovered Lenahan’s body in his residence at Honeysuckle Court Apartment Complex. The Bloomsburg Town Police called the Columbia County Coroner’s Office to the scene, and Deputy Coroner Russell Sawyer pronounced Lenahan dead at 11:54 a.m.

Students learned of Lenahan’s death in an email sent to them by James McCormack, Acting Vice President for Student Affairs at BU, at 5 p.m. yesterday.

“He was excited about graduating this May with a degree in Mass Communications in the Public Relations area of our program,” said Dr. Jason Genovese, Chairperson of the Mass Communications Department, in an email to students in the major.

Sean was an active member of the BU community, serving as the 2019-2020 president of the PRSSA, a national organization affiliated with the Public Relations Society of America and working at the Student Recreation Center, among his other endeavors.

“This is a tragic loss.  I extend my sympathies to those who knew Sean, and in particular his mother, father and brother,” said Kristie Byrum, Associate Professor, Mass Communications.  

Those who knew Sean remember him as a friendly, hardworking and kind person.

“Sean was a creative thinker who devised innovative ideas for both class projects and in his leadership role with the Bloomsburg University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America,” said Dr. Byrum, faculty advisor for PRSSA.

“Sean’s death is an utter tragedy for those touched by his gentleness, humor, diligence, and dedication to being his absolute best. He was in two of my classes, and I don’t think he missed a single class. He was resolute and completely dependable. We all will miss him deeply,” said Dr. Ganahl, founding faculty advisor of BUnow.

In the fall 2019 semester, he completed a project for the Danville Business Alliance as part of his coursework for Public Relations Workshop class under Dr. Byrum’s supervision.   

“He was a joy to have in class and always demonstrated he was willing to go the extra mile to help his peers. He will be sorely missed from the 2020 graduating class,” Dr. Byrum said.

BU has decided to award Lenahan his Mass Communications degree posthumously in May.

Bloomsburg University’s president stated, “Our BU family mourns with the Lenahan family on the loss of Sean. We will keep the family, as well as Sean’s friends and classmates, in our thoughts and prayers over the coming days and months.”

An autopsy is scheduled for today, but foul play is not suspected, according to the Columbia County Coroner’s Office.

This is a developing story. Updates will be posted as they become available.

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