McLeod Buckham White was a senior at Columbia College and a former member of the football team. He was a double major in economics and psychology, and a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He was also a victim of suicide, a devastating outcome that shocked and saddened his family, friends, and community. Here is the story of McLeod Buckham White, his cause of death, and his legacy.
A Bright and Kind Student-Athlete
McLeod Buckham White joined the Columbia College community in the fall of 2019 as a first-year student and a football player. He was a talented and hardworking student, who excelled in his academic pursuits and had a passion for learning. He was also a dedicated and respected athlete, who played as a defensive back on the Columbia Lions football team. He was known for his drive, effort, and teamwork.
But more than his achievements, McLeod Buckham White was remembered for his personality and character. He was described as sincere, kind, and humble by his peers and mentors. He was a loyal and compassionate friend, who always had a smile and a word of encouragement for others. He was a positive and optimistic person, who had a zest for life and a sense of humor.
A Hidden and Painful Struggle
McLeod Buckham White, however, was also struggling with a mental health issue that he kept private and hidden from most people. He suffered from depression, a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest. Depression can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or background. It can be triggered by various factors, such as stress, trauma, genetics, or environment. It can also have serious consequences, such as affecting one’s physical health, academic performance, social relationships, and self-esteem.
McLeod Buckham White’s depression may have been exacerbated by the challenges and pressures of being a student-athlete at a prestigious and competitive institution. He may have also felt isolated and lonely, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the normal routines and activities of campus life. He may have also faced stigma and shame, which prevented him from seeking help or opening up to others.
A Tragic and Unexpected End
McLeod Buckham White’s depression ultimately led him to take his own life, a tragic and irreversible decision that ended his potential and promise. He died by suicide on March 30, 2023, at the Wien Residence Hall, where he lived on campus. He was found on the floor of his dorm room by his roommate, who alerted the authorities. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 21 years old.
McLeod Buckham White’s suicide was a shock and a grief for his family, friends, and community. They expressed their condolences and compassion for his loss, and shared their memories and tributes for his life. They also questioned how and why he chose to end his life, and what could have been done to prevent it. They wondered if they missed any signs or clues, or if they could have done more to support him.
A Lasting and Meaningful Legacy
McLeod Buckham White left behind a legacy of excellence, grace, and love. He was a star student, a gifted athlete, and a wonderful human being. He touched many lives and hearts with his intelligence, talent, and kindness. He inspired many people with his courage, resilience, and spirit. He will never be forgotten.
McLeod Buckham White’s suicide also raised awareness and action for the issue of mental health, especially among college students and student-athletes. His death sparked a conversation and a movement to destigmatize and address the problem of depression and suicide, and to promote the importance of seeking help and supporting each other. His death also motivated a campaign and a fund to provide resources and services for mental health and wellness at Columbia and beyond.
McLeod Buckham White’s cause of death was a tragedy, but his life was a treasure. He was a Columbia student who died by suicide, but he was also a Columbia student who lived by love. He was McLeod Buckham White, and he will always be remembered.