An Indiana University student was one of the passengers aboard a Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down Thursday in eastern Ukraine, leaving no survivors.
IU confirmed that Karlijn Keijzer, 25, was on the Boeing 777 carrying 295 people. Keijzer, who was from Amsterdam, was a doctoral student in the chemistry department in the IU College of Arts and Sciences and had already earned her master’s degree from the university.
“On behalf of the entire Indiana University community, I want to express my deepest sympathies to Karlijn’s family and friends over her tragic death,” Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie said. “Karlijn was an outstanding student and a talented athlete, and her passing is a loss to the campus and the university. Our hearts also go out to the families of all the victims of this senseless act.”
FOX59 spoke with Keijzer’s friend and former roommate Rachel Weigler, who described Keijzer as a “brilliant, brilliant girl.”
“There are not many people like Karlijn on this planet, said Weigler.
“There are so many people here missing her.”
Keijzer was a member of the IU’s women’s varsity rowing team during the 2011 season, helping them to a 14-5 record. She earned Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Scholar-Athlete honors as well as Academic All-Big Ten accolades following the 2011 season. A decorated junior rower, Keijzer participated in the European Rowing Junior Championships in 2006 and the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2007.
“The Indiana Rowing family is deeply saddened by the news of Karlijn’s sudden passing,” Indiana head rowing coach Steve Peterson said. “She came to us for one year as a graduate student and truly wanted to pursue rowing. That year was the first year we really started to make a mark with the First Varsity 8 boat and she was a huge reason for it. She was a phenomenal student and loved IU so much that she stayed here after she earned her master’s degree. Our condolences go out to her family and friends in this very tough time.”