'One-of-a-Kind' Tufts Junior Madie Nicpon Dies


Madie Nicpon was a biopsychology major who played in three games in 2021.

Madie Nicpon, a junior defender on the Tufts women’s lacrosse team, died Saturday in an accident, the university announced Monday.

A close friend told WCVB, Boston’s ABC affiliate, that Nicpon choked during a hot dog eating contest Saturday — part of the “Play for Pink” breast cancer awareness day organized by the school’s student-athletes. Authorities confirmed to The Journal News that’s what happened. Nicpon died Sunday at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was 20.

Nicpon was a biopsychology major who played in three games in 2021, securing one ground ball. A GoFundMe created to help the family with expenses has raised over $120,000 at the time of this writing.

“Madie Nicpon was a beautiful and brilliant daughter, granddaughter, sister, and friend,” GoFundMe creator Theresa Osborne wrote. ”Her contagious smile and laughter lit up every room. Her generosity and kindness has left a lasting impact on those around her.”

One donor commented that Nicpon was “one-of-a-kind.”

Nicpon was a member of the lacrosse, field hockey and indoor track teams at Suffern (N.Y.) High School, where she was also a member of the National Honor Society. Her Tufts roster page lists some of her favorite hobbies as playing the kazoo and water sliding. Her pregame superstition was to throw a dance party.

The office of Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco shared this message with the university community:

“Dear members of the Tufts community,

We are writing to share the sad news that a member of our community, Madie Nicpon, class of 2023, has passed away following an accident Saturday afternoon. A native of Suffern, New York, Madie was a biopsychology major, a member of the women’s lacrosse team, and an active member of our community. In the face of this painful loss, our hearts go out to Madie’s family and friends.

Last night, approximately 3,000 students, faculty and staff gathered at the Gantcher Center to remember Madie and to support each other in our grief, then processed by candlelight to Bello Field, where Madie had spent many hours with her teammates and friends. The number of community members who turned out to lend support to each other, to Madie’s friends, and to her family was a testament to how many lives Madie touched during her time at Tufts.

We are never prepared for the loss of someone in our community. It can be especially hard to accept the loss of someone so young. In times like these, it is more important than ever to rely on each other and draw strength from our community. Please know that the full resources of Tufts University support services are available to you. Students can access assistance through the University Chaplaincy, Counseling and Mental Health Service(CMHS), and Dean of Student Affairs Office. If you or someone you know needs more immediate support, please reach out to either the Counselor-on-Call or the Dean-on-Call 24/7 by calling our after-hours message center at 617-627-3360. Faculty and staff are reminded that support is available to them through the Tufts University Employee Assistance Program.

We will work with Madie’s family to find a time to join together as a community to celebrate Madie’s life. We will share details on this gathering when they become available.”

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