Morgan Buerkett, rising second-year in College, 1992-2011

Morgan Buerkett, a rising second-year in the College, died Sunday, July 24 in a private plane crash. She was 19.

Her parents, Jon and Dana Buerkett, also died in the accident.

“She will be painfully missed,” said Susan Art, Dean of Students for the College.

Buerkett, also known as “Moe,” was a resident of Woodward House in her first year. She was a member of the volleyball team and belonged to the Delta Gamma sorority.

“She was the kid everybody liked immediately,” said Vanessa Walby, head coach of the UChicago volleyball program. “She was very determined and very hopeful.”

“If there was anyone who made the most out of every day, it was Morgan,” said Tara Anantharam, Morgan’s freshman roommate.

Buerkett, a 2010 graduate of St. Thomas More High School in Champaign, loved watching old movies; The Birds and Singin’ in the Rain were among her favorites. She liked the music of Foster the People, Lykke Li and Incubus, horseback riding, and the feeling of breaking in a new pair of tennis shoes.

Katie Trela, Buerkett’s volleyball teammate and a sorority sister, said her friend “commanded attention and admiration the second she entered a room.”

“She was beautiful and passionate, poised and graceful, confident but modest,” said Trela, a rising third-year. “The greatest tragedy is for the people who will never receive the privilege of knowing her.”

A campus memorial service for Buerkett will be planned for early Fall Quarter.