Southern Adventist University was reeling in shock on Tuesday after a 21-year-old student was found dead in her dormitory room.
Kimberly Andreu, a second-year freshman majoring in allied health, was found unresponsive in her Thatcher Hall room on Monday evening.
A friend said she had suffered from a congenital heart condition.
“Emergency personnel arrived shortly thereafter and declared her deceased,” the university said in a statement. “The medical examiner's preliminary findings are that her death was a result of natural causes.”
The Collegedale, Tennessee-based university described Andreu as a transfer student from Lancaster, Massachusetts.
Melodie Alvarez, a sophomore nursing student who called Andreu a close friend, said Andreu had told her about having a congenital heart condition.
“I knew a little bit that she had health problems, but we didn't talk much about that,” she said in an interview.
Alvarez said she last saw Andreu at 9 or 10 p.m. Sunday when they parted ways after studying at the library for an exam.
“I was the last one to see her the night before she died, to my knowledge,” she said. “The last thing I said to her was ‘good luck.’”
On Monday, Andreu did not respond to text messages or people knocking on her door, and police were called when her body was found around 7:30 p.m., Alvarez said.
Every class I had today had a moment of silence for Kimberly Andreu. R.I.P
— Keren, with an E (@KerenO_o) March 24, 2015
Alvarez said the two became friends when Andreu arrived at Southern Adventist University at the beginning of the current semester but “it seems like I have known her forever.”
“There wasn't anybody who didn't like Kim,” Alvarez said. “She had a sarcastic wit about her that people just couldn't get enough of. She was a beautiful soul. I am grieved at her death.”
Students paid tribute to Andreu during classes on Tuesday.
“Every class I had today had a moment of silence for Kimberly Andreu. R.I.P.,” a student who only gave her first name, Keren, said on Twitter.
A memorial service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday in the Collegedale Church, and it will be broadcast live at southern.edu/streaming.
“Join us in celebrating her life through praise songs, pictures, and a time of sharing,” the university said in an e-mail sent to students and faculty on Tuesday afternoon.
It said grief counselors would be present at the service and available throughout the week.