Fordham Mourns Loss of FCRH Senior Donika Celaj

By Helen Stevenson

Donika Celaj, FCRH ’19 majoring in psychology, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 21 due to a sudden illness. She was 21.

According to Fordham News, Celaj was born in Yonkers, New York on Nov. 13, 1997. In 2015, she graduated from high school at Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy and went on to attend the university in the fall. She commuted from her apartment in Riverdale.

“Donika’s passing is a terrible blow to her family, loved ones and classmates,” Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, wrote in a statement addressed to the members of the Fordham community. “The death of someone so young and full of life is profoundly painful, and a source of unspeakable sorrow and loss to everyone who knew her.”

McShane said that he knows the university community will remember Celaj in their prayers.

“I know you will join me in keeping Donika’s family, loved ones and friends in your thoughts and prayers today and in the days ahead.

Celaj is survived by her parents, Gzim and Ariana Celaj, her brothers, Fisnik and Lorik, and her extended family.

On Sunday, Feb. 24, her family held visitation at Pleasant Manor Funeral Home in Thornwood, New York. Funeral services were held on Monday, Feb. 25, followed by interment at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

For mental health resources on campus, please reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services at (718) 817-3725 or Campus Ministry at (718) 817-4500.