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Recent Antioch student dies

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The Antioch College campus was a scene of grieving on Sunday evening as students mourned the passing of former Antioch student Meredith Martin.

Martin, 21, died on Friday in Vandalia. The Montgomery County Coroner was not able to determine a cause of death.

The Dayton native graduated in 2010 from Vandalia-Butler High School, where she was the salutatorian. Martin enrolled in fall 2012 as part of Antioch’s second class, but withdrew from the college in September at the end of the 2013 summer term for personal reasons.

The Antioch Office of Community Life organized a moment of reflection and a “community processing” service for Martin at the Glen Helen Building on Sunday, after which students and staff honored Martin by lighting candles inside paper lanterns and sending them skyward. Some of Martin’s family also attended the service.

According to Antioch Dean of Community Life Louise Smith, students were shocked and surprised at Martin’s death. Though Martin had withdrawn from Antioch, she remained friends with fellow students and visited campus often, according to Smith. Martin was a curious and spirited person, and was a “beloved” student in the language program because she was such a strong Spanish speaker, Smith said.

“She had a tremendous curiosity about the world, she was searching for herself and for meaning in life — always,” Smith said. “She was drawn to the mystic poet Rumi and had a keen interest in folk dancing. … She had a great spirit and really connected to people in unusual ways.”

According to an interview with the News last year, Martin applied to Antioch while working on a permaculture project in Mexico, saying that if any college was a good fit for her, it would be Antioch for its focus on hands-on learning, She said she was excited by the prospect that Antioch was a “blank canvas” where “there’s lots to be done.”


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