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Barton College is honoring the memory of a student found deceased Friday afternoon.
President Douglas N. Searcy said the college community “is deeply saddened” by freshman Joshua L. Folston’s passing and is providing grief counseling to Folston’s friends and classmates.
“Josh was a well-respected member of our community, planning to major in exercise science, and his presence on campus will be greatly missed,” Searcy said in a statement emailed to The Wilson Times. “There has been an outpouring of support from across the campus, from Barton trustees to faculty and staff to students who have reached out to offer support to Josh’s family and friends.”
Wilson police were dispatched to Barton’s Wenger Hall at 4:30 p.m. Friday to conduct a welfare check and found Folston unresponsive in a dormitory, Sgt. Steve Stroud said. The 18-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said a preliminary investigation showed no suspicious circumstances and an autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of death.
Searcy said he’s “immensely grateful” for the support Barton has received.
“Barton is a resilient community where love and compassion are the first response when our greatest challenges arise,” he said.
The college’s Division of Student Engagement and Success organized opportunities for students to gather over the weekend to remember Folston and discuss their feelings about his passing. Searcy said counseling and support would be available 24 hours a day.
“We recognize that our faith and the support of friends and family are a strengthening force that guides us through difficult circumstances,” Searcy said.
Plans for memorial ceremonies are forthcoming, Searcy said Saturday.
“In the days and weeks ahead, we ask for prayers for Josh’s family as they begin to cope with the loss of their son, brother, nephew and grandson,” he said.
Police ask anyone with information to call the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.