Sam Wopat memorial details announced

April 2, 2012, 3:04 a.m.

Editor’s note: See the first Daily post on this subject here.

Samantha “Sam” Wopat ’14, a member of the women’s volleyball team, died Sunday, March 25, at Stanford Hospital following a weeklong battle in the intensive care unit. Wopat was hospitalized Saturday, March 17, after attempting suicide in her Suites residence.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Sam Wopat,” said Bob Bowlsby, director of Stanford Athletics in a University statement. “She was an integral member of the Stanford Athletics family and a tremendous student and athlete. On behalf of our administration, coaches and students I extend my condolences to Sam’s siblings, parents, relatives and friends. Stanford University and the Women’s Volleyball program have lost a wonderful young woman.”

Sam Wopat memorial details announced
Samantha "Sam" Wopat, an outside hitter on the women's volleyball team, died in Stanford Hospital on March 25. (Courtesy of Stanford Athletics)

Wopat is survived by her parents, Ron and Kathy Wopat of Santa Barbara, Calif.; her twin sister, Carly Wopat ’14, also on the Stanford women’s volleyball team; and two younger brothers, Jackson and Eli.

A memorial service for Wopat will be held at 1:30 p.m. in Memorial Church on Wednesday, April 18.

As a high school student Wopat played track and field, basketball and volleyball at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, Calif. She was planning to complete a major in English with an emphasis on creative writing, according to an October interview with The Daily.

Wopat joined the Stanford women’s volleyball team as an outside hitter in 2010, though her athletic success began much earlier. She participated on three U.S. Junior Olympics teams from 2006-08, competed in the World Championships as a member of the U.S. Youth National team and played in the 2010 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team.

The Charger Account – the student newspaper at Wopat’s high school – ran a tribute on March 30.

“Sam Wopat is forever in our hearts and memories,” the tribute said. “She will be missed dearly and will always be remembered for her exquisite smile and love of laughter.”

The article also mentioned that the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club created a fund in Wopat’s honor.


Campus response and resources

Campus-wide responses to Wopat’s hospitalization began in the days following her attempted suicide.

On March 19, Resident Assistants (RAs) and other Suites residents sent emails announcing a vigil for Wopat.

“Saturday was a hard night for many members of our community,” wrote one RA. “If you would like to send love/support for those involved, take a trip to Maples Pavilion. At the entrance is a tree from which we are hanging messages, notes, drawings, etc. Materials should be in a brown bag near the tree.”

Associate Dean for Residential Education Nate Boswell and Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann emailed the Suites community on March 30 echoing the sentiments of the student messages.

“It is always an incredibly difficult thing when a member of our community passes on and we would like to create a space for Suites residents to process together and gather as a community,” the email read.

In an April 2 op-ed in The Daily, Vice Provost Greg Boardman encouraged students to utilize campus resources, including Residential Education staff, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Office of Religious Life and the Bridge Peer Counseling Center.

Kristian Davis Bailey is a junior studying Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. A full time journalist/writer and occasional student, he's served as an Opinion section editor, News writer and desk editor for The Daily, is a community liaison for Stanford STATIC, the campus' progressive blog and journal, and maintains his own website, 'With a K.' He's interested in how the press perpetuates systems of oppression and seeks to use journalism as a tool for dismantling such systems.

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