On Sunday, February 16, Penn State student James Shilling died in the Alpha Phi Delta fraternity house where he was a resident. As reported by Onward State, Penn State University spokesperson Rachel Pell announced the tragic news in a statement, saying “We are very saddened by this news and send our deepest condolences to James Shilling’s family and friends.” Pell added that “Penn State Student Affairs is in touch with his family and will offer any and all necessary support.”
Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity provided more information about Shilling’s death on the evening of February 16, saying that one of Shilling’s friends had reached out to Alpha Phi Delta (APD) brothers on Sunday morning, worried because she couldn’t get a hold of him. When APD members looked in on Shilling, they found him unresponsive in his bedroom.
APD’s statement says that the members called the police and medical services, adding that “Words are scarcely able to express the grief we, Shilling’s Brothers, are feeling at this moment. We offer [our] prayers and deepest sympathy to his family.”
Authorities have not provided the cause of death at this time and there is no further information about the circumstances of Shilling’s death.
Shilling Was a 22-Year-Old Student and Member of Navy ROTC
According to Rachel Pell’s statement, Shilling was a full-time student at Penn State from Arizona, at the College of Information Sciences and Technology, and was slated to graduate in Spring 2020. The APD Fraternity added that Shilling was originally a native of Camas, Washington, as well as a member of Navy Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). They added that Shilling was formerly a house manager for the fraternity.
University spokesperson Rachel Pell stated that staff from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life as well as Counseling and Psychological Services were at the residence to support those who lived with James and who knew him. She added that “Counseling services for anyone in need are available at the student health center on campus.”
Alpha Phi Delta Is an Italian Heritage Fraternity & 19 Members Lived at the Penn State House
According to Alpha Phi Delta’s statement to Collegian, there were 19 brothers of the Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity living in the house with Shilling.
The APD Central Office’s Facebook page states that APD is an Italian heritage fraternity, originally founded at Syracuse University in 1914. APD Penn State is one of 45 chapters and colonies. The Chi Chapter at Penn State was founded in 1929. A recruitment statement posted to the APD website indicates that James Shilling became a member of the fraternity in April 2017.