I regret ever saying that I wanted to write “necessary” poems. Poems that “matter.”

I think that I just meant to say: “I want to matter.”

- Elizabeth Ann Leo


Photos and memorabilia of Elizabeth Ann Leo displayed at the August 25 memorial

Dozens of family, friends, coworkers and students of Elizabeth Ann Leo gathered at the Lutheran campus chapel on Sunday to celebrate her life. Those who could not find seats stood quietly in the back.

Leo’s mother read selected portions of her poetry aloud to the congregation before the podium was opened to those who wished to share memories. Several students and close friends stood to speak about Leo’s compassion, talent and importance to their lives.

Leo obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree from WVU in 2017, and at the time of her death, was serving as adjunct professor in the university’s undergraduate English program. She was also a participating member of the Lutheran campus chapel.

The ceremony took place only 50 feet from where Leo died on May 10 in a fall from the walkway that connected her apartment to the chapel.

Six days after her death, West Virginia University Police accidentally leaked a draft press release that stated Leo’s death had been ruled accidental. Later that day, the Morgantown Police Department issued its own press release, insisting that homicide had not been ruled out. Neither department has issued any official word on Leo’s death since then.

Police records obtained by Kromatic Media show that Elizabeth Leo’s death has now officially been ruled an accidental fall, with no signs of foul play.

Melinda Leo — Elizabeth’s mother — reads her daughter’s poetry aloud

Melinda Leo — Elizabeth’s mother — reads her daughter’s poetry aloud

The family request gifts be made in Elizabeth's memory to support students at West Virginia University. Checks noting "IMO Elizabeth Leo" on the memo line may be made payable to the WVU Foundation, INC., and mailed to WVU Foundation, One Waterfront Place-7th Floor, PO Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507-1650, OR to Lutheran Campus Ministries in care of Chaplain Tony Setley at 1497 University Avenue, Morgantown WV 26505.