Southwestern student dies after Barton Creek Greenbelt fall

Thomas White (Courtesy: Southwestern University)
Thomas White was on the soccer team at Southwestern University (Courtesy: Southwestern University)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A 20-year-old Southwestern University student died after falling about 50 feet off the Barton Creek Greenbelt around 7:45 p.m. Monday. He has been identified as Thomas White of Hurst, Texas.

“There was always a smile on his face, he had the goofiest smile, he was so smart, so opinionated,” says Phillip Silverman, describing White, his fellow fraternity brother at Southwestern University in Georgetown.

White was with a group of four other people when he fell. Officer Christopher Irwin says it appears White slipped while climbing White Face Cliff, an area popular for cliff diving. The trail to get to the cliff is narrow and rocky.

“It’s a difficult area to get to, it’s about a 20-minute hike to where the subject was found. So STAR flight was overhead attempting to provide assistance,” said Officer Irwin.

It’s a spot hiker Nelson Guda knows well.

“It’s definitely a place where you could fall off the edge, it’s a steep edge and it’s a long fall and a lot of gravel there,” explains Guda.

Nelson has had some close calls himself. He says hikers have to watch every step.

The outdoors is what those who knew White say he loved. “He really was just like a really great friend to everybody,” says Silverman.

White was a member of the Southwestern soccer team.

“Hearts are very heavy at Southwestern today. Thomas was a beloved member of our community, and he will be deeply missed. Please join us in allowing Thomas’ family to privately grieve, while keeping them in your thoughts,” said Southwestern President Edward B. Burger in a statement. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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