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Purdue College of Pharmacy remembers Dayna Less

Purdue University has confirmed that Dayna Less, one of two Purdue graduates killed in a tragic Chicago hospital shooting Monday, graduated in May with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 1:01 PM
Updated: Nov 20, 2018 2:17 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue University has confirmed that Dayna Less, one of two Purdue graduates killed in a tragic Chicago hospital shooting Monday, graduated in May with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Less was a first pharmacy resident from St. John, Indiana. 

"Today is a very tragic day for us," said Purdue Pharmacy Dean Eric Barker. "We all remember Dayna as a very kind and compassionate person who had dedicated her life to helping others."

Just six months ago, Dean Eric Barker presented her with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree during the May commencement.

"The Purdue pharmacy family is a tight-knit family, and we along with the whole Purdue community are grieving alongside her family and friends," said Barker.

The shooting killed Less, Chicago Police officer Samuel Jimenez and fellow Purdue graduate Dr. Tamara O'Neal. Purdue confirms O'Neal graduated in 2002 with an undergraduate degree in psychology.

Witnesses said O'Neal was shot by her ex-fiance, who then entered the hospital and kept shooting.

"We all feel like it's a real senseless tragedy," said Barker.

While at Purdue, Less was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, the national headquarters confirms.

"Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims involved in the shooting at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago on Monday, November 19. Dayna Less, Indiana Delta, was a pharmacy resident at the hospital and lost her life in the tragedy. Dayna attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and was initiated into Pi Beta Phi in 2012. She served on the chapter’s leadership team as Vice President of Philanthropy. Pi Beta Phi offers our deepest condolences to Dayna's family, friends and the members of Indiana Delta."

Online records show Less was engaged to be married in June.

"As Boilermakers, we have resilience," said Barker. "We, again, grieve but we will move forward."

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels released the following statement:

"We are proud of Tamara and Dayna for the lives of service they chose to pursue. We are deeply grateful and admiring of officer Jimenez for his sacrificial bravery that spared other innocent lives."

Purdue was unable to put News 18 in contact with someone from the Psychology Department for comment on Dr. O'Neal. 

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