Drew was the light of our lives and made our hearts beat with joy and pride. He had a zest for life that was unquenchable and his passionate interests in so many diverse areas were contagious to everyone around him.
We had the good fortune to create many wonderful memories with Drew over the past 21 years, but we are devastated that we can create no more. Every parent strives to raise a child who will make the world a better place and Drew was fulfilling that potential and had so much more to give before his life was abruptly ended a few days ago. Everything has changed for all of us who loved him so dearly.
He was our source of endless happiness, love, entertainment, conversation and laughter. We cannot begin to express the emptiness and sadness that his senseless passing has created in our hearts. We are so extraordinarily proud and honored to have had Drew as our beloved son.
We love you tremendously and will miss you every minute of every day forever son.
Mom & Dad
As I sit down to write this remembrance of Drew, all that I think is, “I wish he were here right now to help me write it.” He would know exactly how to make it smart, meaningful, and a little bit funny.
Drew was a uniquely special individual. He had so many talents, and it is a shame that he was only able to share his infectious personality for a short 21 years.
He was the best little brother anyone could ever ask for. I looked up to him so much, and I am unbelievably proud of the amazing person that he turned out to be.
I love you so much, and will think about you every single day for the rest of my life.
Your Big Brother,
AJ Everson, Pratt ’09
As I watch the changing sky, I think of your life—the sunshine of your birth; the dancing, laughing, shepherd’s clouds of your childhood; and then, as you grew, the heights of the cumulous clouds. We watched in amazement—how high can they go? We learned as they turned into the dynamic energy as the rain clouds—exciting to watch and refreshing to experience. But, alas, night softly fell, much too soon. However, your “changing sky” will live forever with us in our loving memories. May God forever bless your soul, and keep it in the palm of His hand.
Your loving Grandma
To our Drew,
The memories of you will sustain us for a lifetime, especially the adventures at Grandma’s farm. The debates, the scarecrow contest, the wrestling matches, the play, and so many more. How you were unafraid to argue with lawyers at 14, and unashamed to take your uncle’s money in poker at 16. The laughter and the love remembered will always bring a smile to our faces and a warmth to our hearts. You are loved.
Aunt Pam, Teri, Joanna, Vicki, and Uncle Jimmy
Our dearest cuz Drew,
We shared over 20 years of holiday gatherings—Christmas, Fourth of July and of course Thanksgiving, when all of us would be enjoying the turkey and you’d be happy with your grilled cheese sandwich. Your jokes and tricks never failed to elicit laughs, from mooning everyone during flashlight tag to your daredevil antics on the go-cart. Your entertaining performances in our childhood plays foreshadowed the brilliant comedian you became. Never losing a debate at Grandma’s kitchen table, your intellectual prowess was evident from the beginning. The basketball rivalry with your cousins down the road will always live on, but Kelsey and Taylor will say this just one time: Go to hell Carolina.
We love you, always.
Jonathon, Sydney, Taylor Jo, Morgan, Kelsey, Molly, Devyn, Erin, Dylan
As Drew’s roommate for the past two years, I have had the pleasure of seeing him almost every day. I’ve been able to do so much with him, everything from visiting the Pi Kappa Phi monuments at the College of Charleston in bowties to jumping into a fountain in Indianapolis at 4 a.m. after winning the national championship. Our daily interactions normally consisted of me saying something stupid and Drew promptly calling me out on it with his typical “Pat, really?” His involvement with the debate club and local debate teams made it completely impossible to ever win an argument against him, and I’ll miss being consistently frustrated.
Drew also had some peculiarities. Drew rarely slept. He was extremely jealous that I could fall asleep within 20 seconds, and I was extremely jealous he was able to watch so much television. He was the only person I know who worked at a restaurant like Applebee’s, which has a variety of foods from different food groups, yet only ate variations of bread, cheese and marinara sauce. The majority of my meals last year had pasta involved, which should be easy to make, but Drew, of course, found a way to almost burn our apartment down. Nice.
The apartment feels empty without him, and all the little things he did to make this a happier (and most definitely goofier) place will be dearly missed. Due to the decibel count of his laugh, my hearing may also be impacted for years to come as his lasting legacy.
I wasn’t able to see you much the past few weeks because you were constantly at Super Days: everyone wanted Drew at their company (and for good reason). I’ll never forget our time together, even if it was so short. You lived the life the way it was supposed to be lived—it was refreshing knowing somebody who made sure he didn’t ever, ever take life too seriously
Yours in Pi Kappa Phi,
Patrick Rutter, Trinity ’11
Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity
We know your secret: You promised your hand in marriage to not one, but two girls. Well, guess what? We have found each other, and we’re okay with that. After all, that’s just what you do: you bring people together. We know this arrangement makes you quite happy, seeing as you have wanted us to become best friends for some time now. And while the circumstances are certainly not ideal, we have come to recognize the sheer beauty of your plan. Having spent so much time together these past few days, we realize why each of us fell so deeply in love with you. Only you, Drew Everson, could make the two most neurotic, crazy, clinically insane women at Duke want to cast caution to the wind and simply enjoy life—rather than stress about it. For that, we will be eternally grateful, and, most importantly, we will be eternally bonded. Hell, at this point, the two of us could just marry each other. Who needs a stubborn, brilliant, hilarious, devastatingly charming, unconditionally loyal husband any way?
You have given us so much happiness and so much joie de vivre we cannot even begin to describe, but—you know us—we’re damn well gonna try. Whether it was convincing three fathers and a group of friends to jump into a fountain that happened to be a state monument to celebrate a national championship or just casually sipping Macallan and watching every Zac Efron movie ever made while all the other Duke students were desperately cramming for finals, you showed us what it means to truly live. While your superior intellect and convenient insomnia allowed you to eventually ace those finals (without even cracking a book), we, on the other hand, tended to receive less than mediocre grades. Normally, this would be upsetting to two girls as obsessive and anxious as us, but, in the end, we learned more procrastinating with you than we could ever learn from any book.
We will never ever love a man the way that we have loved and will always love you. You are our everything. Enjoy that scotch while you watch over us, Drewbie :)
Edie Wellman,Trinity ’11
Lauren Haigler, Trinity ’11
As a family, we used to make a traditional Irish toast to each other: “May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you’re dead.” In present circumstances this could bring a lot of pain into our hearts. But we know that if the devil did ever come for Drew, two things would happen: He would convince the devil that hell did not exist and invite him for a glass of scotch in heaven.
Drew, we always knew you had that special ability to make the impossible seem within reach. We never were able, however, to fully appreciate just how many members of the Duke community you touched with your gifts. While all of your commitments made scheduling family dinners difficult, your great sense of humor, constant positivity and witty honesty made getting together so much fun.
You are absurdly intelligent, but of course you know that. It will always be shocking to us how much you were able to accomplish academically and in the numerous organizations with which you were involved. You are an inspiration in Guinness, oops, genuineness, and have always set a great example in being true to yourself and your beliefs. You are always Drew.
Because neither he nor we had a proper chance to say good-bye, we are left to imagine that it would play out just as countless encounters before: filled with laughter, a big goofy smile, a bear hug and some esoteric jargon that we might half understand.
Drew has left a legacy that Mu Family will never forget:
“Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.... This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.” —William Penn
Tyler Donahue, Trinity ’12
Ryan Knowles, Trinity ’10
Chris Brown, Trinity ’13
Matt Schoen, Trinity ’13
Tyler Seuc, Trinity ’12
Andrew Ruffin, Trinity ’10
Mu Family Forever
As the rest of these letters undoubtedly express, it is still difficult and painful to even fathom the occasion of our remembrance. More challenging still is to give a singular description that does justice to how amazing it was to know Drew Everson. He was an anomaly in the best sense of the word: Drew found the things in his life that he cared about and that interested him, and he involved himself in them out of a genuine love for each new day. Though Drew defied convention in so many ways, most uplifting among them was his mood, which never strayed far from the upbeat smiles that we will all undoubtedly remember him by.
I think what many of us loved most about Drew was that he relished the perfections of life and was refreshingly aware of the absurdity of the rest. Drew looked at the world with an inquisitive heart and open mind that embraced our society for its imperfections and was always willing to share a minute with anyone who wished to explore those boundaries with him—including the readers of these very pages as a columnist. I for one will miss his intelligent and satirical love for all aspects of the human condition and his unique ability to make the lives of those around him better simply by sharing his time.
All of us at Duke who were lucky enough to spend time with Drew—be it as an editor, a co-worker, a fraternity brother, a classmate, a Crazie, or best, as a friend—collectively share a memory of a young man with doors opening to all the possibilities of our world. As someone who knew Drew in all of these capacities, I am proud that the memory that will live on for me is of an individual who lived his life to the fullest every day with the distinct intention of sharing that passion with all who surrounded him.
Austin Boehm, Trinity ’10
Editorial Page Managing Editor and Independent Editorial Board Member, The Chronicle
I knew Drew Everson was a special person when I met him, now a lifetime ago, our senior year of high school. I was lucky to grow closer to him in college, traveling to debate tournaments with him, sharing late night heart-to-hearts, joking, laughing, daring, and adventuring. I can’t remember a single time when I was not uplifted by Drew’s presence. Even when we talked about our troubles, he never tended toward anger or despair. His life was a celebration, full of passion, charisma, and love freely given and returned. I am still inspired now by Drew’s good humor and perspective. I am also grateful to be surrounded by people who knew and loved him as I did. That none of us are alone in our grief is a gift and a testament to his spirit.
Drew, your bright spirit will continue to shine within us. I miss you deeply.
Swapanthi Nagulpally, Trinity ’11
Dear friends and family of Drew,
I am writing on behalf of the East Chapel Hill High School Speech and Debate Team, which was blessed with an outstanding Extemporaneous Speaking coach, Drew Everson. Drew was brilliant, engaging, faithful, and reliable to the Speech and Debate team members that he coached. University students have many demands on their time, yet Drew was committed to the team year in and year out. The team knew that they could count on him, and they revered him. Drew also served as a judge at debate tournaments hosted by East, and I relish the memory of a discussion we had in which he passionately described the thrill of learning from professors that authored the books he read for class. Drew was an extraordinary young man and we will hold him in our hearts with love.
With deep respects,
Forensics Foundation, East Chapel Hill High School
I am writing this letter because I wanted to tell you how much you meant to me. I think that I, like everyone, forget to say it all the time because we get caught up in things that sidetrack us from the important things in life.
When one of your friends put a quote about meeting you on the wall, I remembered when, where and how I met you. It was at a debate tournament, through a friend I had worked with at a summer camp. You were there when I started this journey back into coaching debate. You were there when I sprained my ankle at the Duke tournament. You were there when I had my concerns about sticking with this.
I write this as a letter to you because I know you are with us in our hearts and minds. You were an anchor all of these years while I worked with you. When I had my tirades, you were there to calm me down. You were always constructive, optimistic and robust. You were there in social situations that were comical. I think that what I will miss most about you is your contagious humor. I won’t say I will miss you, because you are with me now. I won’t say “bye,” because I know we will meet again. I would like to say thank you for the smiles, warmth, memories and best wishes in the past, present and future. Thank you, good friend.
Head Debate and Speech Coach, East Chapel Hill High School
How could I ever sum up Drew Everson? Drew was never one short for words (he always had more than enough for the rest of us) but I think he still would have difficulty describing himself, most likely looking pensive for a moment before laughing and saying something like, “Sexy.”
It’s not like I haven’t known Drew long enough to be able to describe him. We went to middle and high school together, even (briefly!) dating sophomore year before going on to be compared as male and female versions of the same person. We were both voted Most Likely to Succeed, given full scholarships to University of South Carolina and admitted to Scholarship Finalist Weekend at Duke, where we both immediately fell in love (though, to be fair Drew had been in love since he first laid eyes on Duke). We laughed about our similarities and yet extreme differences—my hopeful career of animal welfare law, Drew’s plan to take over the world as Emperor Drew through his corporate schemes (though he always said he would give back once he was a millionaire).
The difficulty in describing Drew is you never could tell what he would do or be next. Though in the beginning of high school he was an arrogant class clown, junior and senior year he realized his brilliance and immediately threw himself into academics. He succeeded easily and wildly, taking debate by storm with his epic and constantly witty speeches, winning on the state and national level in multiple debate events. And though Drew never lost his passion for competition at Duke, he further expanded his talents. flowing seamlessly into Duke life our freshman year as I followed behind, learning from him of basketball and tenting, great classes to take, and the best places to go on Thursday nights.
Drew had this amazing quality of making friends with literally everyone he met, and keeping those friendships alive—really and genuinely. Whenever I saw him he was always in the middle of laughing with someone, yelling out an “Ey!” as I walked by. I remember him telling me how awesome life was and how Duke was literally the greatest place on earth, deciding not to study abroad because “I just love this place too damn much.”
And it loved him back. In just four short years, Drew made an indelible (and probably illegible) mark on Duke and all who reside here. He lives on in every basketball game, every debate round, every intense seminar, every insane Tailgate turned late Saturday night turned early Sunday morning. I see him everywhere already and I know someday (hopefully soon), I’ll hear his booming laugh in my heart once again.
“Whatever you do, don’t ever, ever take life too seriously.”
Lindsey Wallace, Trinity ‘11
My sharpest memories of you are aural: soaking in the sepulchral light outside the Phortress and chatting about your future; waxing snobbish over a bottle of Chilean red in the Devil’s Bistro and trading points on life and love and what it means to be human; hearing the animated you laughing wildly over the Brothers during Pass the Hat or after one of Harry’s classic one-liners. The sound of your Play-Doh key chain clanking through the Craven hallway during the first night of Rush and the confident, bespectacled blond persuading me to join the fraternity I now lead. Those moments, welling up over and over in my mind, are what I will keep with me, are the immaterial gifts that I unwrap now and will continue to for the rest of my life.
In the last few days, I’ve been asked to communicate a lot—how the fraternity is doing, how the brothers are holding up, how can others make our lives more livable in the unfathomable grief. Drew, one thing that I cannot communicate in words is how much this fraternity loved you. The Brothers looked up to you as a role model and a confidante, as a source of inspiration and a gushing fountain of comic relief, as, to borrow from Harry, an absurdly intelligent dude and a dedicated discoverer of that special something woven into each and every one of us. Beneath the blanket of numbness and pain and the moments of hysteria when we’re not sure how to exist without you and the fits of laughter remembering the fonder moments living with you, we’ve all staid strong together. And hopefully, as we carry one another through the darker parts of these next weeks and months, we’ll have the wisdom to remember the best advice you’ve ever given me: don’t ever, ever take life too seriously.
Nothing Shall Ever Tear Us Asunder.
Jordan Stone, Trinity '12
President, Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity
Drew Everson struck a rare and admirable balance between knowing where he wanted to be in the future and enjoying every moment of where he was. Like many of our friends, Drew had his sights on a job in finance. But Drew’s involvement at Duke and in our fraternity is a testimonial to his refusal to let future plans dictate how he would spend today—and tonight. From his column "Why so serious?" which urged us all to chill out, to his Viking helmet at basketball games which was the battle flag of Section 17, Drew established himself as the champion of having a good time. But to Drew, this meant a lot more than drinking a cold Busch with his brothers. Drew found his good time as a spirited member of Inside Joke, the Line Monitors and the debate team. No matter where he was or what he was wearing—be it a beautifully tailored suit, a letter shirt, or a spaceman outfit at Tailgate—Drew made sure that he, and everyone around him, was enjoying the moment. It is with bittersweet thoughts today that we remember Drew—lover of fun, embodiment of fraternity, pillar of our friends.
Mike Lefevre, Trinity ’11
Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity
You changed me for the better, in ways that I could never get you to admit. You have left this world, but your essence remains in the lives of the many friends whom you touched. I was lucky to know you as a classmate, friend, roommate and brother, and as we gloried and struggled in our shared youth we never imagined that our moments together were so precious. I’d give so much to see your crooked smile, or to hear a cheerfully mangled Chinese “Hen hao!”
Johnathan Pryor, Trinity ’11
Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity
It is a testament to the kind of man that you are to continue to bring so many people together even after you have left us. To see the fraternity come together like it has over the past few days, to experience the incredible support from the University and to have all of your many friends looking out for each other would make you proud. You can rest easier knowing that you made all of this happen.
You left us much earlier than anyone could have imagined, yet you managed to fit so much life and joy into the time that we did share together. In the past three years alone, you have made a remarkable impact on our community. Whether through PiKapp, Campus Council or Line Monitors, you made Duke a better place for the rest of us.
But what we will miss most are your jovial laugh, your keen sense of humor, your sharp wit and your uncanny ability to light up any room with your warm, welcoming personality. It is these wonderful qualities that will forever remind us of the Drew that we all know and love.
I won’t say that these past few days haven’t been difficult, nor can I say that things will be significantly easier in the days to come. But I take solace in the fact that I know we are all better people for having had you in our lives. For that, I thank you.
On top of all the memories that we shared as brothers, as fellow CCers, and as classmates, you have given me an important gift and taught me an invaluable lesson: You have reminded us all to never take for granted those whom we cherish most.
Thank you for being a part of my life, Drew, and know that you will be dearly missed and never forgotten. May God bless you.
Your Brother in Pi Kappa Phi,
Stephen Temple, Trinity ’11
Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity
I couldn’t get to sleep tonight, Drew.
There’s no other reason, I’m sure it’s you.
Why do I cry? Why am I blue?
Is it because I don’t want to believe it’s true?
No; that’s not it, I don’t think,
As I stare at my reflection above the sink.
The mirror says there’s something else,
I watch the World, not just myself.
It’s like TV, I’m not even there,
I’ve vanished completely into thin air.
I like it this way, removed from the scene,
It almost feels like I’m floating, in a dream.
But, no, I’m left wanting,
As the World goes on, taunting.
STOP, World, remember this man,
I’ll show you how, heart in hand:
I’ll remember your style, your intelligent grace,
The insatiable smile slapped on your face.
Your mind, the brightest star in the blackest space,
With an infectious attitude to liven the place.
So, while the World continues its turn,
And as my heart, finally, relinquishes its burn;
Know this: your memory is never gone from me,
As your soul swims off deep, deep into the Sea.
Jonathan Cohen, Trinity ’12
Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity
In the three years that I have been close to Drew, I was fortunate to experience the many sides of him, the intellect, the jokester, the friend, but I believe it is my charge to focus on our common love... Duke Basketball.
I remember clearly the day that he applied to be a Line Monitor. I had just interviewed two gentlemen in ties. Drew began his 1 p.m. interview at 1:10 announcing that he, “had just rolled out of bed.” He concluded by telling us exactly what he thought of the Terrapins. Drew was Drew, take it or leave it. I knew we would be foolish to leave it, so Drew donned the jacket and Viking helmet. And he did so with style, whether he was in K-ville, at the National Championships or, most importantly, in Our House.
In Cameron, from the chattering crowd one lone voice shouts “Let’s Go Duke!” Another voice joins and the chant rapidly spreads. Within seconds thousands of fans come together in unison. It is no coincidence that Drew started the chants. Sure, he had the loudest voice I’ve ever heard. But Drew had been practicing his whole life. On a daily basis, Drew took people with different interests and personalities, and brought them together, in unison.
Drew was front row at every game, and said what was on his mind (particularly to referees and Maryland fans). He was witty, smart, and loud. And he was really fun. The night we won the national championship, I found myself with Drew and several close friends celebrating in the middle of Indianapolis... in the city fountain. Drew had his pants off... Viking helmet on.
Many of my friends have said to me over the past few days, “Duke Basketball meant SO much to him, and you are lucky to have shared that with him.” And they’re right. Basketball really did mean a great deal to Drew. And I feel honored to have shared that bond with him. But I can assure every one of you reading this letter, that as much as Duke Basketball meant to Drew... Drew meant far more to Duke Basketball.
Zach White, Trinity '10
Head Line Monitor 09-10
The Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee is heartbroken over the loss of Drew Everson. Last year, the position of Campus Council liaison to DUSDAC was added, and Drew was Campus Council’s inaugural representative on our dining advisory committee. At the time, some members of DUSDAC weren’t keen on having somebody selected by someone else join our team, and we didn’t exactly welcome Drew with open arms. By the end of the year, though, we had all wrapped our arms tightly around him, and we begged him to live on campus during his senior year so he’d be able to represent Campus Council on our committee again.
Drew was so kind, so smart and so fun. He contributed a wealth of knowledge about the food industry that was unrivaled and he pushed us to think about how dining decisions would affect the residential model at Duke. He was such a valuable member of our committee, the university community and our senior class. At our meeting this Monday, members of DUSDAC sat down to eat dinner together. We dedicated the meal to Drew, in recognition of his outstanding service to our committee and his contagious passion for food.
We miss Drew so much. May he rest in peace in a place where food is plentiful, fulfilling and good.
Alex Klein, Trinity '11
Andrew Schreiber, Trinity '11
Whether it was his infectious, distinct laugh or his personality epitomized by his Play-Doh key chain, there was no mistaking that Drew Everson was a beloved member of our Inside Joke family. Everyone who had the opportunity to write, perform or even just interact with Drew has a story that will sustain them during this difficult time.
Some of those stories include his impressions of Batman and George W. Bush. Other stories stem from sharing queso and tortillas with Drew while writing skits at the Dillo. Still others are based in the times away from writing sessions and the stage. These were the best and most memorable experiences with Drew Everson. He had a very comforting presence and always went out of his way to take new members under his wing, offer rides home and have fun with anyone and everyone around him. He was one of the rare individuals who could teach you, challenge you and entertain you all in one conversation.
Anyone who knew Drew can attest to the fact that he had a very special mind. Drew’s comedy was full of intellect, creating beautiful and effective satire and entertainment.
As so many others on this campus have the benefit of understanding, a friendship with Drew has been a relationship that is based in fun, compassion and loyalty. We will never forget the joy of sharing a laugh with Drew and we hope to emulate his sense of friendship and loyalty in our own lives.
We already miss Drew’s smile, but his comedy and our memories of him will continue to bring joy to our lives.
Graham Sharpe, Trinity '11
James McMahon, Trinity '11
Anna Sadler, Trinity '12
Kathryn Latham, Pratt '13
Charles Saadeh, Trinity '11
Inside Joke Sketch Comedy
Thank you for being my big brother, my friend and my partner in crime. Thank you for buying me a cream cheese brownie and studying markets with me in Perkins until 4 a.m. even though you obviously already knew everything, for tackling me on the plaza in your penguin suit and making me come to all of your Inside Joke shows, for the cage dancing at the spangal, for making me look smart in 158, for that night you rescued me from Shooter’s, for every time you made me laugh and/or roll my eyes, for every time you made me worry, for always making the time to make me feel beautiful and loved on the bad days and exponentially increasing the joy on the good ones. I’m going to miss everything—your viking hat, your pouty face, your contagious happiness and your kindness. I am so proud to call you my friend and I love you to the moon and back.
Betsy Klein, Trinity ’12
Dealing with Drew’s passing has been different than I could have ever imagined. When I think about the fact that I will never see him again, it makes me cry so hard it hurts. But, when I remember our times together, it makes me laugh out loud.
It’s weird, the things that you remember when something like this happens. For me, it’s been the little things. Like the time I was stressed out during midterms and I saw him on the Plaza promoting Inside Joke dressed in his penguin costume. He could tell I was having a horrible day so he launched into a monologue about how confusing life can be when you have blond hair on your head but red facial hair. I can still remember him standing there and saying “I’m not a ginger, I just have a ginger beard.” Then he gave me the biggest hug and flashed one of his amazing smiles, and suddenly everything was ok.
I hope that instead of carrying with us the pain of his passing, we will all be able to find the strength to dedicate our lives to his memory. I pray that we can all be the hug for someone who really needs it, the contagious smile that lights up a room and most importantly the loyal friend that no one could ever forget.
I also pray that someday soon, remembering Drew will bring more smiles than tears, because that’s the way he would have wanted it...
Sarah Barnes, Trinity ’12
To be honest, this is a letter I don’t know how to write and certainly never wanted to. Drew was a vital cog to Duke University and an amazing brother in the three years I’ve gotten to know him. I’ve never known someone who enjoyed life so much and lived it to the fullest as much as he did. A true renaissance man, Drew was an exemplar of what it meant to maximize the Duke experience. Whether it be his time in PiKapp, Debate, Inside Joke, or as a Line Monitor—he was truly passionate about what he did on campus and he will be missed. I know he would have preferred we celebrate his life rather than mourn, but its hard not be devastated by such a huge loss. Drew, thank you for blessing us with the time you had. You will not be forgotten.
Jordan Woodson, Trinity '10
I will never have the words to do you justice or to tell you how much I love you. You were a man of the highest quality, and being your friend has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I will always remember all the nights we just sat outside of the party (preferably in absurd costumes) and talked for hours. You never stopped teaching me; every conversation we ever had left me wiser and happier than I had been before. I will never stop being amazed by how much you had to offer people, be it hysterical laughter or simple patience and kindness. It was impossible not to notice you; you could transform the energy of a room just by walking into it. Seeing you was always such a happy event, that our first hug of the night often required a running start. I know, I know, I’m being sappy, but you can be sappy too. Drew Everson, you are irreplaceable, and I don’t imagine that I will ever stop missing you. It is unbearable to think that I will never see your face again, but know that you will always be the little voice in the back of my head.
I love you babycakes,
Kelsey Bandeen, Trinity '11
Though I know there was a time before I knew Drew, it’s hard know to remember Duke without him, and it’s heartbreaking to know I have to go through future Duke without him. I was blessed to spend an entire season of Duke basketball with him right by my side as a fellow Line Monitor, and we danced to Cascada and yelled at refs and harassed Maryland players during free throws with such joy together. Drew was the kid I wanted to see when I showed up at a 4 a.m. tent check because he was guaranteed to put me in a good mood. And whether I was dressed up for semi formal, or in crazy clothes for Tailgate or bundled up in hobo mittens in K-ville, his greeting never wavered; it was always a huge hug, a big kiss on the cheek and a “hello gorgeous.” It was that same greeting I got when I ran into him at dinner on Thursday, having no idea I would never see him again. He told me he would see me soon, and I gave him a big smile, because let’s face it, the kid always made me smile. And though I’ll never see him on earth again, there are many things I will always see that will make me think of Drew and smile. Every time I see friends hug at Tailgate, every time I see someone painted up for Duke basketball, every time I see someone enjoy a good glass of scotch, every time I see anything resembling a Viking hat, I will think of Drew, and I will smile, and I will laugh. Though it’s painfully hard to imagine Line Monitor section without him, I have this to say, “Every time we touched I felt the static, every time you kissed my cheek I swore I could fly. Can’t you feel my heart beat so? I can’t let you go. I want you in my life.” Drew, I’ll never let you go. Hey Gorgeous, see you soon.
Jenni Brandon, Trinity '11
Drew was the worst vegetarian I have ever met. His diet consisted of pretty much only grains and cheese. I’m talking cheese pizza, plain spaghetti with parmesan cheese, and buckets of the Dillo’s queso. But he was also the most genuine kid I will ever meet, with a smile that just made you melt. He truly loved Duke, loved his friends and loved what the future held for him.
There was never any questioning Drew’s future: He was headed for Wall Street. The speed, the stakes, and the chaos of a trading room floor fed something in his soul. And Drew was going to excel at it because he loved a challenge—and because he excelled at everything he did.
Last week Drew jokingly bragged to me that his signing bonus for his job next year would equal roughly half of the annual salary of the jobs to which I am applying. He told me not to worry, though, because in 15 or 20 years he would call me up and donate a million dollars to whatever I was working on, and in the meantime I was allowed to use his vacation houses. That was Drew: funny, kind-hearted.
It confounds me that someone so full of spunk, promise and vivacity could be taken from us so early and so suddenly. I only hope that he knew—that he knows—how much he is loved. Drew—I miss you, I love you, and I am a better person for knowing you.
Aishlinn O’Connor, Trinity '11
I had the pleasure of sharing virtually all my extracurricular activities at Duke with Drew Everson, and I’m particularly blessed to have an immortalized version of Drew in the form of parody songs we recorded together for Inside Joke.
In listening to these songs, I rediscovered that Drew was a heroically bad singer. Though his sense of rhythm and ability to recite lyrics were fine, tone-deaf might aptly describe his vocal stylings. But when cast lists came out for Inside Joke shows, Drew was often slated to sing. What Drew lacked in pitch, he more than made up for in joie de vivre. Personality radiated out of every note. You could tell he was having a blast, which in turn made you have a blast. Everyone wanted to be cast opposite Drew in skits, because it was impossible not to have fun next to him.
Being exuberant didn’t seem to be an effort for Drew. This was his approach to everything that I’ve ever seen him do: live large, and make everyone else around you live larger. Drew’s unwavering vitality is precisely why he touched so many lives. Everyone who ever had a class with him, ate with him, traveled with him, danced with him, chatted with him, even just saw him across the quad, has a story to tell. Even if you didn’t know him, you knew him. He was that intense Line Monitor with the viking helmet, the dude with the mohawk, the hilarious kid with the tight jeans and a canister of Play-Doh on his key chain.
It’s sad to see such a bright light go out, but it’s a testament to Drew’s lasting impression that the Duke community has coalesced around his memory. Friends have honored Drew by comforting, supporting and expressing their love for one another. There’s no better way to remember Drew than to remind ourselves of how he brought us together. Talk to your friends, tell them how much they mean to you, and recount all the great times you shared with Drew.
Drew was brimming with life, and there will always be a little bit of it in everyone who knew him.
Danny Lewin, Trinity ’10
Thank you for allowing me to be a pat of your life. From playing "FIFA 10" to watching "Community," I wouldn’t trade any of the times we spent together. You make me want to be a better person Drew, and you will continue to do so for the rest of my life.
I came across this quote yesterday and I thought I would share it:
“Life is eternal and Love is immortal; And death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.”—Rossiter W. Raymond
I knew that you were a popular guy, Drew. But over the past couple of days I have seen first hand the hundreds of people that truly care about you more than anything; whose lives you have truly made better through your presence. Thank you for letting me become one of your closest friends.
Until we meet again,
David Piccirilli, Trinity ’11
I’m sad. I’m very very sad. I’m selfishly sad for myself, but sadder for the people who don’t feel any loss today. Those people are the worst off, because they didn’t get the chance to know someone who was more special to me than I can ever describe. I like to write, I love to talk, and yet I have no words to accurately portray Drew. If you know me, you know speechless is something I am not.
Here are some things I can say about my friend. Drew Everson was the guy who gchatted me at six in the morning just to tell me to go to sleep because he knew he would be the brunt of my crankiness the next day. Drew Everson was the guy that had seats from a car in his dorm room. Drew Everson was the guy who wore tighter shirts than I did. Drew Everson was the kid in the mustard costume. Drew Everson was the guy who always kissed me on the head. Drew Everson was the one in the bathrobe at my freshman year Inside Joke audition. Drew Everson was the guy who finally convinced me to lighten up... a little. Drew Everson was one of my loudest critics, but one of the closest shoulders to cry on.
Drew was the brother I never had, and the one I wish I hadn’t had to lose.
I don’t tell people I love them unless I mean it. Luckily, he got to hear that from me many times.
So one last time, I love you Drew.
Anna Sadler, Trinity ’12
Five things you need to know about Drew Everson:
1. He had the most hilarious laugh. When he thought something was funny, everyone one thought it was funny no matter how they felt about it originally. Even during Inside Joke practice, he would pitch a skit that I or someone else might not find that hilarious and then he would sell it with his laugh and we’d all be convinced.
2. Along with his laugh, he had the most endearing smile you could ever see. Drew smiled from ear to ear and you could always take comfort in the fact that you knew his smiles were genuine. He was nice to everyone and had the most magnetic personality so the smile just capped that off perfectly. I will find strength in remembering Drew through his smile.
3. He LOVED people. If any of the groups he was involved with wanted to have a get together or a party, he always offered his apartment. I remember one random debate team practice, we had decided to throw a party and he immediately wanted to host it. He was involved in so much on campus and brought so many people there. When we heard about the terrible news on Sunday, not only were there many people there, but also many different types of people. Drew, his smile, his laugh and his personality brought together such a variety of groups together here at Duke University.
4. He was a vegetarian that hated vegetables. One thing that people used to say about Drew was that only he could get away with some of the things that he did. Drew’s diet consisted of mostly cheese, bread and anything fried. I remember bringing him a piece of veggie pizza with only a couple veggies left on it and watching him sit down and painstakingly pick out any little bit that was left.
5. We will miss him so much. We love you, Drew.
Mitu Yilma, Trinity ’13
Drew will continue to live on in every person that has been so fortunate to have known him. He was an inspiration to all and a joy to be around. What I admired most about Drew was his ability to be so exceptional in so many ways and yet always keep his priorities in line. Although his life was far too short, Drew lived each day to the fullest. He was a great friend and great brother. My thoughts are with his family.
John Mekjian, Trinity ’12
My last memory of Drew will always be important to me; I’ve thought about it so much recently, and I hope it reminds me to always be grateful for each additional day I get. When Drew gave me a ride back to my apartment Thursday night, I asked him about his job search, which turned into a conversation of Duke memories. I felt jealous and so happy for him—he was excited about what was to come, and was so satisfied with how he had spent the last three and a half years. I wish he could have followed through on all of it, but even more, I wish he was still here.
Elena Botella, Trinity '13
It’s hard to put any of this in words, but I’ll try and keep it simple. Drew was an outstanding human being. He was funny as all hell, smarter than almost anyone you’d meet and always there for his friends. I have never, and will never meet, anyone who made life seem so easy. He inspired me so much that I basically copied everything he did at Duke. He was the reason I am in my fraternity, in Inside Joke and the reason I got rejected from being a Line Monitor. It’s amazing: I know he’d want me to be having fun even now, but it’s so hard to do anything without him around. I love him, I miss him and I can only hope I can end up being half the person I know he would have been.
Harry Liberman, Trinity ’13
I have admired your wit, sincerity and carefree nature ever since we met freshman year. You always made debate tournaments more exciting and I will miss our lengthy conversations about current events and sports. Whenever I was having a tough time, your sense of humor would lift my spirits.
Nikhil Taneja, Trinity '11
The world lost an extraordinary human being with the passing of Drew Everson.
Many will talk about how smart Drew was—he was brilliant and could think on his feet better than most people could articulate well thought-out arguments. Many will talk about Drew’s boundless future—he had offers from all the top investment banks and consulting firms, and his potential was undeniable. But that does not do justice to his character.
Drew was the type of person that everyone wanted to be around. His jovial personality was infectious and his grin ubiquitous; just catching sight of him would bring a smile to your face. Drew loved to have a good time, but he loved even more for those around him to be having a good time, and he would do his part to ensure that was the case. Drew was hilarious and witty, perceptive and dazzling. He emitted a radiant glow that would light up any room.
I loved Drew’s passion, his excitement. Basketball, politics, finance, music—his interests were eclectic and knowledge exceptional. He could chime into any conversation with uncanny insight, enthusiasm and opinions.
Drew was the epitome of a Duke student and the epitome of a friend. I was lucky enough to know Drew, and to be able to call him a brother and one of my close friends. The world was a better place because of him, and he will forever be missed.
Drew, we love you.
Geoff Silver, Trinity '11
I got to know Drew Everson playing flick football with him at the lunch table is seventh grade. For the last 10 years since then, we have lived life on parallel tracks. From Mauldin Middle, to Mauldin High, to Duke, then pledging the same fraternity, Drew and I have never been very far apart. There are so many things I could say about Drew—he was brilliant, hard working, incredibly kind—but none of those things really capture Drew. The most remarkable thing about him was that every single time I interacted with him he had an infectious joy that livened my day. That sounds like the kind of cliché statement that you write about someone after they are gone, but I literally can’t remember a single time in the 10 years I knew him when that wasn’t true. Drew, you will be sorely missed. I hope that, like you counseled, I can start to live life a little less seriously.
Andrew Brown, Trinity '11