Out of the Darkness

Martha Frase

Ten years ago, Rachel “Chell” Blunt ’14 lost their life to the depression they had battled for many years. The Ursinus College junior had loved their time at the college, and Chell’s friends and family—including mother Martha Frase (pictured with Chell’s sister, Haley Blunt)—decided not to let their Ursinus story end at that moment. With support from Chell’s loved ones, Frase created the Rachel Blunt Memorial Prize to continue to honor Chell’s legacy.

This year, a decade after the loss of Chell, Frase decided to use the milestone as an opportunity to help increase mental health awareness on campus. In April, she sent a pledge and an open letter to be read to participants of Ursinus’s annual “Out of the Darkness” suicide prevention walk to benefit the American Society for Suicide Prevention.

The letter said, in part, “You are the ones who are really changing the world for people with mental illness. You are the foot soldiers in this battle, and I KNOW you are having an impact.”

Frase also rallied friends and family to add funding to the Rachel Blunt Memorial Prize and has personally committed to establishing the Rachel Blunt Memorial Annual Scholarship at the college. The new scholarship will support students who are studying theater and dance, as Chell once did.

Martha Frase, mother of Rachel Blunt with sister Haley Blunt