The president of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, broke the news to Brittany Vollmer Saturday night that her parents and two siblings died in a car crash on Interstate 90.
Brittany is a second-year student at the college and news of the tragedy spread throughout campus quickly after an email went out to students on Saturday.
The news has left students and staff searching for answers about how they can help their fellow student and friend.
"There's a real weight on campus as we're all feeling the weight of this," Northwestern College Director of Residence Life Marlon Haverdink said Monday.
Even though Northwestern hasn't lost a student, one of its students has lost so much. That’s why Haverdink says the past 48 hours have been spent asking questions with no easy answers.
"How do we support her? How do we come along side her? How do we love her through this process?" Haverdink said.
On the small Christian campus of 1,200 students, nearly everybody is connected in some way.
Kayla Johnson has a few classes with Brittany and says students are trying to figure out how to support her.
"It's this period of mourning. We're all in this state of how to feel happy for her because she's still here and she has great friends and a good community around her, but the loss she has back at home to try to support her," Johnson said.
Church and chapel services Sunday and Monday have been filled with prayers for Brittany and her family.
Monday night, chaplains and counselors will be on hand to talk with students on campus.
Officials say conversation and prayer will be key in helping the college community help one of their own who has suffered sudden unimaginable loss.
"We care for one another. We have the common faith in Christ and that's a real unifier for us. Anytime you have a tragedy like this happen to one of our students, we all feel it," Haverdink said.
Students are also showing their support online. A post was added to the school's Facebook page a day ago already has more than 50 comments.