Sep 252008
 
Authors: Elyse Jarvis

CSU alumnus Jason Hill was found dead in his home by his roommate this morning after he slipped into a diabetic coma overnight. The exact time of death is unknown.

Hill, a type-1 diabetic who graduated in May a Dean’s list honoree, was an honors business administration student but was also very involved in the theatre program at CSU.

Laura Jones, associate professor of the arts, said that CSU theater faculty and students were “shocked,” and it is unclear whether the theatre’s 8 p.m. performance of “The Distance From Here” will indeed commence tonight.

A candlelight vigil for Hill will be held tomorrow night at 10:30 outside the University Center of the Arts.

“(Diabetes) was a balancing act for him, but I don’t think he is unique in that way,” Jones said.

She explained that many people with the disease often ignore it or have a hard time managing it.

“This is so incredibly random,” she said. “I don’t think people realize how severe (diabetes) is. You can miss only one dose (of medication) and be gone.”

The Casper, Wyo. native acted for the CSU theatre department in the one-act play “The Actor’s Nightmare” and played subsequent roles after its production ended.

His ties to the arts program remained close even after his graduation, Jones said, as Hill remained in the area.

“Jason participated in so many productions that it was hard for us to think of him as anything but one of our family,” Theatre Program Director Walt Jones said.

The news of Hill’s death may impact “The Distance From Here” cast’s ability to perform tonight, Laura Jones said.

“There are some people not in any condition to perform,” she said.

The cast will meet at 4 p.m. today, and Jones said she believes that “(Hill) would want the show to go on.”

Hill last performed in Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs” last summer and had plans to eventually move to Chicago with other CSU graduates to open a theatre company.

“Jason stopped by my office a few days ago,” Walt Jones said in the theatre program’s official announcement. “His grinning face appeared in our darkened outer office. … He came to tell me of his recent exploits, his new job, and how much he missed us.”

“We will miss Jason as well,” he said.

Hill’s funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday at The Newcomers Funeral Home in Casper, Wyo.

The theatre program will hold its own memorial service in the University Thrust Theatre on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m.

News Editor Elyse Jarvis can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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