Sophomore political science student found dead Saturday

Stephanie Markham, Editor-in-Chief

Sophomore political science major and Delta Tau Delta fraternity member Michael Bellock, from Lombard, was found dead Saturday morning in a Charleston apartment complex. He was 20 years old.

Coles County deputy coroner Greg Epperson said Bellock’s death is still under investigation.

Vicki Woodard, Eastern’s coordinator of public information, said members of the Counseling Center are meeting with Bellock’s fraternity brothers and making their services available to anyone who may need them.

Richard Wandling, chair of the political science department, said when he notified professors they expressed that Bellock was a great student with an “engaging mind” and a strong interest in the world of politics and government.

“I have not had the privilege of having Michael in one of my classes, but my political science colleagues readily recall Michael as an inquisitive, curious student with a promising future,” Wandling said. “We know that he will be missed by all.”

Wandling said while it is difficult to know what to say in this kind of situation, he knows that his department wants to extend its deepest sympathy to Bellock’s family, friends and loved ones.

“We can only imagine how difficult this sudden loss must be for everyone to understand,” he said.

Kevin Anderson, a political science professor, had Bellock in an introduction to political theory class last fall and said he remembers him as a quiet but very bright young man.

“He didn’t speak out a lot, but when I would call on him, he would always make good statements and show that he was a serious student,” Anderson said. “I was really, really surprised when I saw the message that he had passed away.”

Paul Danyi, a political science professor, said he had Bellock in four courses and noticed him finding his way in his studies and rapidly developing interests in topics like international terrorism.

“I took notice of Michael because he struggled early on in one of my courses on international relations,” Danyi said. “But he talked with me, worked hard, and in subsequent courses he was among the top and most thoughtful students I had.”

Danyi said Bellock “silently impressed” in the classroom, and he imagines he did in other areas of his life as well.

“It was with a heavy heart that I received the news of his tragic death,” he said. “Michael was someone I fully expected to teach again and to watch him grow as a student and scholar.”

Information regarding memorial and funeral services will be shared when available.


Stephanie Markham can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].