Undergraduate student passes away

Brian Joseph Adams, a rising senior in the College of Arts and Science studying english and history, was 21 years old and is remembered by his friends for his sense of humor and selfless character.


Hunter Long

Empty path on Vanderbilt’s campus, photographed October 26, 2020. (Hunter Long/Hustler Multimedia)

Thomas Hum, Managing Editor

Brian Joseph Adams (‘22), an english and history major in the College of Arts and Science, passed away on Sunday, July 4. He was 21 years old.

Though an official cause of death has not been determined, currently authorities do not suspect foul play, according to an email sent to students on Monday, July 5 by Associate Provost and Dean of Students G. L. Black.

“I think the way he loved his friends and the way he cared for them was through his acts of service and selflessness—the candidness that he displayed when he was talking to people,” senior Sung Jin Lee, a close friend of Adams’s, said. “He was one of the most open and down-to-earth human beings that I have ever had the pleasure to meet and engage with at Vanderbilt.”

Adams was a member of student service organization Circle K International, The Vanderbilt Review, Vanderbilt Historical Review and the Fencing Club. He was also interested in library sciences, working for the Central Library. Adams additionally participated in several performing arts groups, including Vanderbilt Off-Broadway, Vanderbilt University Theatre and the Iceberg Theater Company.

“He was always full of life and he had a characteristically dry, but very funny sense of humor that would just light up the room,” Lee said.

Black’s email encourages grieving students seeking assistance to utilize campus support resources such as the University Counseling Center, Student Care Coordination, Center for Student Wellbeing, Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life and the university’s GriefNet service.