Wagner College is mourning the death of student-athlete Nashawn Brooks. A native of Irvington, N.J., the rising sophomore passed away on Wednesday morning following a traffic accident.
Brooks joined the Wagner football team last year and competed as a linebacker in 2019. A graduate of Irvington High School, he was named the 2019 IHS male athlete of the year. Brooks was majoring in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in information systems.
Wagner College President Joel W. Martin said, “This is an unimaginable, tragic loss. Nashawn was known for his energy, humor and work ethic. He was a curious learner and excited about all there was to discover in this world. He will forever be part of the fabric of Wagner College.”
Athletic Director Walt Hameline said, “Our Wagner College athletics family is devastated by the loss of Nashawn Brooks. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and teammates.”
Head Football Coach Tom Masella said, “We are shocked to hear of Nashawn’s sudden passing. There are no words that can express the pain we feel for his family. His passion for his teammates and our program will be missed dearly. His loved ones are in our prayers during this difficult time.”
Brooks was in the freshman learning community LC 16: Global Travel through Cultural Studies, which was "designed for students who are curious, energetic, flexible and adventurous." Dane Stalcup, associate professor and chair of modern languages, literatures and cultures, taught Brooks in two classes and the LC reflective tutorial. He remembers Nashawn as an engaged student.
"Nashawn was loved,” Stalcup said. “He was funny and smiled a lot, and he was interested in the idea that there are other things in the world to know about. He was excitable in the best way and a great person to have around. He had so much potential to be a great part of any community."
Brooks studied World Literature with Professor Ann Hurley.
"He was fascinated by the reading — literature from different cultures including Southeast Asia and Nigeria," Hurley said. "He was enthusiastic and had a great sense of humor. That's what I'll remember best. We treasured him as a student and had high hopes."
Brooks excelled in his introduction to acting class, taught by Ryan Rhue.
“It can be a challenge to get people engaged in the class, and he met that challenge," said Rhue. "Nashawn was the sweetest guy and super hard working. He was a great contributor to the spirit of the class, and he did well because he found joy in it. He had the best attitude."
Wagner College is grateful for the outpouring of prayers and support as our campus community mourns this tragic loss.
A candlelight vigil was held on the steps of Irvington High School in New Jersey on Thursday evening, June 11. Watch the complete memorial program here:
Live video of Nashawn's funeral service on Wednesday, June 17 was streamed on YouTube. Watch the complete service here: