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JMU student creates petition to name one of the campus buildings in honor of future student who passed away

Temporary "Valley" Hall on JMU's campus
Temporary "Valley" Hall on JMU's campus(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:42 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Amani Kildea passed away on June 28 in New Jersey. His family says he was planning to come to James Madison University this fall.

JMU student Kaitlyn Prioleau created a petition to rename one of JMU’s buildings after Kildea.

“I saw him and then I saw his age, so it already hit home there because I’ll be 20 next week. And then I saw he was going to JMU so it really hit really close to home... like how could this happen to someone who is like is in my community?” Prioleau said.

In just a few days, the petition reached over 1200 signatures.

This past week, JMU made the decision to rename “Jackson”, “Maury” and “Ashby” halls. The halls currently have temporary names.

JMU spokeswoman Caitlyn Read said the renaming process is a long and inclusive process.

“It is a very long, very deliberative, very inclusive process where we make that sure all the voices in the community have an opportunity to be heard,” Read said.

Prioleau is hoping the name will be taken into consideration.

“I know that they’re encouraging us to suggest names, so if this could even be just one of the names that people look at and consider putting as one of the replacements, that’d be great,” Prioleau said.

Read says if you have suggestions to rename the buildings, you can email “campus-history@jmu.edu” to be considered.

We received a statement from police in New Jersey who said the medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.

Social media posts show some believe there needs to be more investigation.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

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