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A tribute to Daniel (from Edens Staff, 2021)

***This is a compilation of tributes from the Edens Staff.***

When Daniel moved to Edens after my turbulent first month or so as a first-time RA during COVID, it was a breath of fresh air. He instantly clicked with the team, and I loved his style. He was organized, calm and stable in such a chaotic time. I am so incredibly thankful that Daniel was reassigned to our quad (sorry Kilgo).

The energy of the team just felt down and depressed because of COVID and various other reasons, but Daniel took over in the middle of the year -- and boom, the smiles all went up.

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Daniel’s soul was overflowing. Everywhere he went, he spilled joy from the seams of his floral shirt. His last text to me was "you've been great this year," and I think, more than anything, that captures who he was as a human. I was not my best self at all last year, but Daniel always valued the parts of me that I’d refused to appreciate. 

***

Daniel was one of those people who went above and beyond to make Duke a more welcoming and inviting space for everyone. 

Daniel knew how to put things in perspective. 

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He was so emotionally intelligent and it was so obvious that he understood me and heard me. 

His knack of changing the atmosphere around him to be the best was uncanny and amazing. 

Daniel was a guiding hand through a tough year. 

Daniel was my rock. 

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I will always remember his inspirational Lebron James videos in our team meetings, him casually saying “okay okay” while nodding his head and bouncing in his chair on Zoom and overall, his calm yet confident style. 

At his memorial service, the co-RAs and I talked for so long about how he remembered the little things we did: our computer algorithms, our organizing work, our favorite day of the week. To echo what was mentioned during that event, Daniel really left nothing unsaid. He always told us when he was proud of us, when we could do something better. How loved we were. 

***

To be honest, all I want is to just let him know that I'm so thankful for him and his positive energy. 

I know he was ready for this year. 

I know that the impact he has made in my life and the lives of everyone he has touched is something that won’t fade away.


Margot Armbruster

Margot Armbruster is a Trinity senior and opinion editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

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