Duquesne mourns sudden death of student

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Havranek. Sara Sawick takes a bow after playing the Cat in the Hat in Spotlight Musical Theatre’s 2012 production of Seussical.

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Havranek. Sara Sawick takes a bow after playing the Cat in the Hat in Spotlight Musical Theatre’s 2012 production of Seussical.

By Julian Routh | News Editor

Nov 13, 2014

A Duquesne liberal arts student found dead Monday morning was a free-spirited stage performer with a warm personality, beautiful singing voice and passion for theater, according to friends.

Sara Sawick, 20, of Philadelphia, was found dead at her residence in South Side at approximately 11:30 a.m. Monday, Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.

Sawick, a junior, was “the type of girl who would captivate the entire room when she walked through the door,” friend and junior marketing major Tara Petak said.

“Sara lived her life to the fullest, and inspired everyone around her to do the same,” Petak said. “The world lost an absolutely beautiful girl on the inside and out.”

Sawick played the lead role in Spotlight Musical Theatre’s production of Seussical in 2012. Her performance as the Cat in the Hat was “fantastic,” especially because she was only a freshman, according to Duquesne graduate and fellow Spotlight performer Andrew Havranek.

“Sara had a huge personality on stage and off,” Havranek said. “She gave the Cat in the Hat the right personality for the character, and she had a great voice. She was fun to work with in that show.”

Junior integrated marketing communications major Becky Donoso, Sawick’s freshman roommate, said Sawick loved to sing and perform, even when she wasn’t on stage.

“Living with her was never short of interesting, and she always brightened my worst days with her high-spirited personality,” Donoso said. “She loved anything that brought positive energy, especially music.”

Sawick actively volunteered in the community and was a member of Strong Women, Strong Girls as a freshman, according to Donoso.

Junior health management systems major Evelyn Sciulli said Sawick was “the most genuine, kind, free spirited person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.”

“She always brought a smile to my face with her warm personality, her beautiful singing voice, her hilarious jokes and her crazy antics,” Sciulli said.

Junior IMC major Jaleel Driggins said being around Sawick was like “having a show performed in front of you.”

“She was a breath of fresh air whenever you saw her,” Driggins said. “She was one of my closest friends and will never be forgotten.”

A memorial mass for Sawick will be held Sunday at 9 p.m. in the University Chapel.

7 Responses to "Duquesne mourns sudden death of student"

  1. Kenny  November 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I am so sorry. We first me Sara working at the Diner we go to. We only knew her a short time but you knew she was special. Sara had a smile that lite up the whole room. Heaven just received another beautiful Angel today. God rest her wonderful soul. We love you Sara and miss you very much.

    Kenny and family

  2. Chuck  November 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    My heart breaks for her family and friends.

  3. Michael  November 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Sara was one of my good friends in high school. She brought so much joy anytime I hung out with her, she was such a smart and beautiful young woman. She will surely be missed. Heaven has received a beautiful angel.

  4. Sue  November 13, 2014 at 9:47 am

    This is such a tragedy. My heart aches for her family.

  5. Mike  November 12, 2014 at 11:48 am

    this is a tragic event and one that touches the hearts of any parent

    • Christina Kidd  November 12, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Sara’s passing has hit close to home! My daughter was her classmate at OLHC grade school. May Sara now rest in peace and may God help us through our sorrow!!! Tina Kidd

  6. Tom  November 12, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Beautiful girl inside and out. What a terrible shame.

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