EUGENE, Ore. -- A University of Oregon spokesperson said a UO student died Friday night, and Lane County Public Health confirmed the cause of death as bacterial meningitis.
Lillian Pagenstecher was a member of the Chi Omega sorority at UO.
Kellie Hays, the adviser for Chi Omega said "Lillian was very involved in community activities" as well as sorority activities.
Condolences have spread across Facebook and Twitter for the loss of the 21-year-old Pagenstecher.
In a tweet, UO Chi Omega wrote: "Sisters are forever. Thank you everyone for your support. Rest in peace beautiful Lill- your smile and laughter is already missed."
Her death is mourned by friends, as well as those who didn't know her.
"Within our community itself, there has been a huge response, people talking, offering their time and whatever they can to support those involved and affected," said University student Lloyd Hall.
Julie Brown with the University of Oregon said the university is working with Lane County Public Health to identify others who had close contact with the student.
Lane County Public Health said about 154 students had already received the preventative medication and a number of people in the community could also have received it in addition to that number.
"It's a very serious disease and it is treatable," said Pam Stuver, with LCPH, of bacterial meningitis.
According to a Centers for Disease Control report, bacterial meningitis tends to "spread more quickly where larger groups of people gather together. College students living in dormitories ... are at increased risk for meningitis."
Brown said a number of members of the Chi Omega sorority were receiving the preventative medication.
While the University of Oregon Health Center does recommend students get vaccinated for meningitis, it is not a requirement for enrollment. The Medical Director for the University said that the available meningitis vaccine does not cover the particular strain most frequently contracted in Oregon.
In a statement about Pagenstecher's death released on its website, University of Oregon health officials urge students with unexplained fever, headache or neck pain to get medical attention.
The University of Oregon Fraternity and Sorority Life organized a candlelight vigil for Pagenstecher on campus. The vigil will be held on the Erb Memorial Union east lawn at 9:00 p.m. Sunday.
Out of respect for the family Hays asked those wishing to show support for the family to send cards or donations to the Pagenstechers c/o Chi Omega, 1461 Alder St., Eugene Oregon 97401.