Last weekend the University suffered the devastating loss of a gregarious and promising student.
Drew Everson, a senior, passed away Saturday night after suffering an accidental fall on campus.
The loss of a student is tragedy for the entire University community, and in Drew’s death we face a loss that has touched every corner of campus.
Drew took advantage of virtually everything that college life had to offer, and the list of organizations he committed himself to is staggering.
Drew’s energy and cleverness were on display in his improv performances for Inside Joke. His intellect and charisma made him a skilled debater and team member for Duke Debate.
As a line monitor, Drew led the Cameron Crazies with his unmistakable presence, Viking accessories and unmatched enthusiasm.
Additionally, Drew was a valued contributor to Campus Council and a committed brother of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He authored a column for The Chronicle in 2008-2009 that he titled “Why so serious?”
In short, Drew represented what being a Duke undergraduate is all about.
He was a brilliant mind deeply engaged in the world around him, but he always made sure that having fun was a priority. Last summer Drew interned for Goldman Sachs. He was bound for a career on Wall Street, yet he was in no rush to get there too quickly. Drew’s youthful exuberance was evident in the Play-Doh key chain he carried with him everywhere, and his affable nature rubbed off on all who knew him.
Drew’s death comes as a sudden shock to all of us. It is difficult understand how a young man with so much potential could be gone so quickly.
We can never forget him, but we can begin to cope with his passing by envisioning what he would want his legacy to be at the University.
“I love finding reasons to celebrate anything. When anything remotely good happens, I use it as an excuse to celebrate,” Drew wrote in his Oct. 16, 2008 column for The Chronicle. “It’s fun to love life. So join me every day in celebrating whatever it is you want to celebrate.”
That outlook of celebrating life and living every moment to its fullest potential is the legacy that Drew will leave at Duke. Even as we reach the lowest points of our grief and struggle to fathom this loss, Drew’s words remind us that there will be “days worth celebrating” yet again.
Drew’s optimism and positive outlook left its mark at Duke. If we can begin to feel that we are joining him whenever we celebrate and value of every moment of our own lives, we can carry on his legacy.
Drew Everson, you made your warm presence felt at The Chronicle, and your vibrant spirit touched every part of Duke’s campus. You will be sorely missed and forever remembered.
The University will host a memorial service in the Chapel at noon today to honor Drew’s memory, followed by a reception in the Scharf Commons. The memorial will be open to the student body.
The Chronicle will continue to accept submissions of remembrance throughout the course of this week. Remembrances will be published on www.dukechronicle.com