Georgetown News 11/1/19

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community:
With a heavy heart, we write today to share the sad news that recent graduate Michelle Xue (B‘19) tragically died from injuries sustained while climbing Red Slate Mountain in Mono County, California this past weekend.  
Michelle graduated with a major in Operations Information Management and a minor in Economics. At Georgetown, she was President of the Buddhist Meditation Sangha, served on the board of the Georgetown University Public Real Estate Fund, and participated as a Global Business Fellows for the McDonough School of Business and Walsh School of Foreign Service. She was also very involved in Campus Ministry. Michelle was a Bay Area native and an experienced climber, leading as safety captain of the university’s rock climbing team. This past September, she joined RealTerm in Los Angeles as an acquisitions analyst.
Her advising dean in McDonough, Daniel Minot, fondly remembers Michelle as an incredibly adventurous spirit whose zest for life, travel, and the outdoors was truly inspiring: “I was struck by Michelle’s passion for exploring the world, her spontaneity, and her determination to pursue new experiences and diverse perspectives, while always pushing herself out of her comfort zone. Through her participation in the Global Business Fellows program, the McDonough Peer Ambassador and Leadership program, and numerous other activities across campus, Michelle left a lasting mark on McDonough and the Georgetown community.”
Professor Ricardo Ernst of the McDonough School of Business recalled Michelle as a “genuine, spontaneous, and extraordinary student whose insights and reflections were intelligent, clever and timely.” She enriched her classmates’ experiences and enhanced dialogue both in and out of the classroom. Rosaelena O’Neil, deputy director and program counselor in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, remembers Michelle as a “brilliant and engaging young woman that had a warm and generous spirit.” As a member of the Global Business Fellows program, “Michelle embraced all the opportunities offered her with gratitude and enthusiasm. We will miss her and will always treasure her memory and contributions to campus.”
Director of Dharmic Life Brahmachari Sharan taught Michelle in Problem of God. “I witnessed Michelle's various interests on campus, and she treated all of them - from Global Business Fellows to Rock Climbing and numerous others - very seriously. She invested thought and time in them, making meaningful contributions to their development,” recalls Sharan. “ In one of the initial meetings we had, she spoke about the beauty of the outdoors, and the feeling of true freedom, saying that the meditation she practiced and the liberation of immersing herself in nature were, for her, one and the same. Whilst she will be remembered for the myriad ways in which she enriched the lives of her friends and colleagues, I will also remember the fact that it was her commitment to the Buddhist community, even though she considered herself very new to the depth of the teachings, that inspired so many of her peers to give their own spiritual journeys a little more thought.”
We realize how difficult this news is for members of our community, particularly as this follows the loss of two other recent graduates just last month. The University is in touch with Michelle’s family and are offering any support we can provide at this difficult time. The Office of Campus Ministry is available to all students during business hours by calling (202) 687-4300. After business hours, students who live in university-owned housing can reach out to the RA on Duty if they wish to speak with a Residential Minister, and students who live off-campus can contact GUPD to speak with a Residential Minister.
To schedule an appointment with CAPS (Counseling and Psychiatric Services), students may call (202) 687-6985 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. In the event of an urgent need after hours, call (202) 444-7243 and ask for the CAPS clinician on call. The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) can provide free confidential counseling and referral services to faculty, AAPs and staff. For more information, visit or call (202) 687-2396.

We will share news of a memorial service when it becomes available, and we encourage students, faculty and staff to reach out to one another for support.
Please keep Michelle and her family and friends in your thoughts.
Julia Farr
Executive Director, Georgetown University Alumni Association
Todd A. Olson, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Rev. Mark Bosco, S.J., Ph.D.
Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Michelle's life told by Remi at service

 To briefly reflect on Michelle’s life, as a child, she was incredibly active. Born on April 11, 1997, her mother affectionately described her as, as I’ve tactfully translated from Chinese, a “handful.” She always wanted to be doing something or trying something new, part of her innate drive that she carried with her all her life. My mom remembers when Michelle came to stay with us for a while when she was younger and putting on some children’s cartoons for her; a few minutes later she found my mom saying, “I’m bored,” and later wondered to her own mother, why did Stephen like watching TV so much.

Michelle was also wise beyond her years - well, perhaps not when she told her mom, “Mommy, I don’t need to work because money falls from trees,” but she grew out of that faster than most as well. Always interested in doing things before she was supposed to, she understood instinctively what was truly important in life, and that maturity both drew people to her and inspired them to trust her. In her first job at the local DQ at the young age of 14, she was trusted with closing up shop all by herself, including the cash register, and she took that responsibility seriously.

She applied that same work ethic to her studies. In high school, she balanced studies and extracurriculars, all the while researching colleges on her own, applying to Georgetown, and getting accepted. After arriving at Georgetown, her life was a tour de force in the college experience. She participated in almost too many student clubs to name, including leading a good number of them, served as a Global Business Fellow in a joint program between the business school and the school of foreign service, worked multiple jobs and internships, and managed to graduate a semester early with a major in Operations Information Management and a minor in Economics. In order to achieve this feat, while other students were out late partying, Michelle often went to bed early, sometimes as early as 8 - 9 PM, and woke up at 4 AM to go to the gym and do homework, before heading out on the next trip or excursion she had planned for that day.

Speaking of trips, no discussion of Michelle’s life would be complete without mentioning her deep and enduring love for the outdoors. Always an active person, Michelle’s love for the mountains and the oceans evolved into a lifelong passion in her late high school years. At 16, she promptly got her driver’s license and began exploring all of the local trails and natural wonders. Her climbing journey began in earnest around then as well, after she broke her back trying to do parkour stunts. In the most Michelle way possible, she reflected on that experience and took it as a sign to never give up, challenging herself to experience even more of the world. Her outdoors adventures ended up taking her to 23 different countries, including an extended solo trip in between graduating college and starting her new job as an Acquisitions Analyst at Realterm in September.

And finally, while Michelle established a vast network of friends throughout the climbing community, I have no doubt that she would have been able to connect with them even if she wasn’t a climber herself because of her most important characteristic: she loved and gave of herself freely. Starting with baking for her classmates as a child, Michelle loved to feed and give to all of her friends; cooking, naturally, also became a lifelong interest. Everything she loved, she wanted to share with her loved ones, even if that meant surprising them with a long hike on a family vacation. Michelle loved people, and it showed in the little things she did - keeping in touch with friends across the country, bringing them back gifts from her travels, and always remembering family birthdays. Michelle loved deeply, and was loved, in return.

I hope that I’ve been able to give you a small glimpse of the amazing person that was Michelle. I’m sure that you all have your own experiences and memories with her as well, and I hope that you can recall them fondly. I hope that you can remember her smiling, as she always was. And most importantly, after you’ve taken the time to grieve, I hope that you can find the courage to go out and live your best life, because that’s what Michelle would have wanted. I’ll leave you with these words from the late senator, Ted Kennedy, that I think Michelle would have liked, “As you know so well, the passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such a great loss, but we carry on, because we have to, because our loved ones would want us to, and because there is still light to guide us in the world from the love they gave us.” Thank you.

My life is not same again

My Name is Tony Xue, Michelle’s father.

Last Tue 10/30th is the most saddest day in my life.Our beloved daughter Michelle didn’t survive from ice climbing accident, I can’t stop crying since that moment. As days goes by, me and wife start to hear more and more stories about Michelle. Each story is touching; gives us comfort, make us proud of our daughter and her achievements.

Here is our side of Michelle story .

Michelle enjoys food and people
 Our Michelle was born 22 years ago in Apr, 1997.We gave her a Chinese name “美悦”, meaning beautiful and happy. We wish her beautiful and happy through her life time. Michelle likes to eat when she is little.
At less than 1 yr old, she is telling family “吃饭了吃饭了” (come to eat, come to eat) at dinner time. I think her leadership skill starts from there. 
 Start at Elementary school, she likes to bake brownies / cookies and bring to school on every occasions. Friends and teaches like her food, Michelle loves her contributions to the team. Her cooking skill is getting better and better over the time, she was selected as president of cooking club in Georgetown.Michelle likes to make others happy.At our home, she is the person remember everyone’s birthday and events. Each xmas gathering, she is always counting people in advance , make sure everyone gets something at the special day. She brings joy to the family at holidays.

Michelle is hard working
Michelle started her 1st job in neighborhood dairy queen when she was only 14yrs old.She enjoyed the work; and the owner likes her. In a short while, she was trusted to manage the shop at closing time. Since then, work and study becomes her normal life style. During a time, other kids are sleeping and play games, Michelle isstudy.When flight with Michelle to Europe or Asia,she is the only person continuing study in the plane. As parent, it’s painful sometimes to see your child study that hard.At Cal-high school, she got injured very badly; had to stay in hospital for more than 1 week. She arranged with school to bring homework there every day. She finished most of homework while in hospital. The Hard work paid off, at Cal-high, she was selected as CSF President; DECA President. she was accepted by Georgetown Univ McDonough business school.At the Georgetown Univ., she was so excited to get into business fellowship program/Peer Ambassador and leadership program, so she can travel and meet with more people. Michelle knows how to balance study, work and life. In her short carrier, she worked for atleast 10 companies; worked as sales, as marketing, as financial analyst. The work at REI brought a lot of joy and sports knowledge to her, and we enjoyed receiving many sports gifts from her.
  1. Diary Queen (sales)
  2. REI (sales)
  3. The North Face (sales
  4. Carylane (marketing)
  5. Fleisher Group (marketing)
  6. SunPower (intern, teaching students about power)
  7. ProTrakr. (intern, social media marketing)
  8. Tokio Marin Holdings (intern, database, steramline process)
  9. Edens (analyst)
  10. Realterm (analyst for aquisition)
Michelle loves mountain, nature and the world
 On her 16th birthday, Michelle got her driving license. That was the happiest moment in her life. After that, her life changed. She goes to Gym around 5AM every morning before going to school.At weekend, she loves hiking around bay area mountains.Mt. Diablo, Mission Peak was her favorite at that time..
 My wife and I both grow up in cities, we are afraid of mountains. I remember we tried everything to convince her not going to Mountains. That didn’t seem to make any difference. On the contrary, she gets into Rock climbing, ice climbing and beyond. Living with Michelle, I feel Nature is calling her whenever there is spare time. She often goes climbing next morning after long international travel. She got injured many times. But she never gives up. As soon as injury recovers about 80%,she goes back climbing again.Her determination to nature is something we can’t and would never understand. Michelle knows our feelings. She takes us to nature every time she comes back home from dc, together we hiked upper Yosemite Fall, hike to see snow during summer, nature hot spring, along beaches. As time goes by, we start to understand her passion and realize her passion to nature is not something we can stop. Her passion to nature goes beyond California, she loves all natures in the world.
 In her short life, she visited many many mountains in over 23 countries. She went to Patagonia for three weeks all by herself. Also by herself, she went to Nepal to visit base camp of Himalayas (Nepal). It’s hard for us to see my girl go travel by herself. Michelle has amazing ability to make friends, she made a lot of friends everywhere she goes. Each time, hearing she made new friends, make us happy.She visited so many places; what she always tell us is that Yosemite / Sierra Mountain range is the best place in the world.

  1. Argentina (Patagonia)
  2. Australia
  3. Bolivia
  4. Canada
  5. China
  6. Costa Rica
  7. France
  8. Iceland
  9. Indonesia
  10. Italy
  11. Japan
  12. Korea
  13. Mexico
  14. Morocco
  15. Nepal
  16. New Zealand + Papua New Guinea)
  17. Peru
  18. Portugal
  19. Switzerland
  20. Spain
  21. Thailand
  22. UK
  23. USA
Here is something amazing. When Michelle’s body comes back from rescuer helicopter, to my surprise, her face doesn’t look sad at all; it actually has a little smile on her face. Her little smile gives us comfort; we know Michelle left us in good spirit. If our beautiful and happy girl is here today, she would say “don’t worry about me, go Live Your DREAM”. Thank you, Michelle, you make us proud !