Gonzaga University President Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., said the university was profoundly saddened to learn of the accidental death early on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 3 in Scotland of student Matthew C. Madison, 20, a junior from Bozeman, Mont.
Madison apparently slipped off a steep rock wall in rural St. Andrews, Scotland at approximately 1 a.m. (Scotland time) Jan. 3. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy was scheduled to be conducted in Dundee.
“The collective heart and prayers of the Gonzaga University family go out to Matthew’s family and friends,” Rev. Spitzer said.
Madison attended Gonzaga-in-Florence, Italy, a one-year Gonzaga study abroad program, during the fall 2005 semester, and had planned to attend Gonzaga-in-Florence during spring semester 2006. Gonzaga-in-Florence students were on Christmas break at the time of the accident.
Madison, an avid golfer and All-State high school golfer in Montana, was slated to play the St. Andrews course later Jan. 3, and had gone to the course with four other students (three Gonzaga-in-Florence students; one Gonzaga-in-Spain student) to check it out beforehand when the accident occurred. St Andrews is widely known as the birthplace and center of modern golf.
Madison apparently fell approximately 60 feet from cliffs overlooking the North Sea near St. Andrews Golf Course. Fife County officials noted that Madison’s death was the fourth accidental death in the last four years to occur at cliffs at The Scores in St. Andrews, prompting police to call for more preventive measures to protect people.
Fife Police is the apparent law enforcement agency involved. Madison was well known as a jolly and caring fellow, both in family settings and in student life.
Funeral arrangements were pending, however, university officials said a memorial service will be held on the main Gonzaga campus (in Spokane); details about that memorial will be announced the first week of spring semester, which begins Jan. 17 in Spokane.
Madison graduated from Belgrade High School in Belgrade, Mont. At Gonzaga, he was an electrical engineering major and a member of the Kennel Club. Madison lived in DeSmet Hall as a freshman and the River Inn as a sophomore before enrolling in the Florence program in fall 2005. His older brother, Taylor Madison, graduated from Gonzaga in 2005 and spent the 2003-04 school year at Gonzaga-in-Florence. Madison also is survived by an older sister, Heather, and his parents, Dan and Marlyn Madison of Bozeman.
Cards may be sent to the Madison family at the following address: 220 Sacajawea, Bozeman, MT, 59718.
For more information, contact Patrick Burke, interim dean of Gonzaga-in-Florence, at (cellular) 011-39-335-781-7877 or (home) at 011-39-055-852-645; or contact GU Vice President for Student Life Sue Weitz at (509) 323-4100.