ENG Junior Austin Brashears Remembered

Austin Brashears (ME'13)
Austin Brashears (ME'13)

Austin Brashears (ME’13) was among three BU students whose lives were cut short on May 13 when a van they were traveling in overturned on its way to a popular New Zealand tourist destination. Roch Jauberty (CAS’14) and Daniela Lekhno (SMG’13) also died in the accident.

Brashears, according to the New Zealand Herald, celebrated his 21st birthday a few weeks earlier by bungee jumping from the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The Huntington Beach, California native was studying mechanical engineering and minoring in energy technologies and environmental engineering. He was president of the BU men’s water polo club during the fall semester, and loved the music of Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and John Mayer.

In an email sent to College of Engineering faculty, staff and students, Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen described Brashears as a “sensational member” of the ENG community.

He was a student advisor, a Dean’s Host and was involved in many other community-enhancing and leadership activities,” Lutchen wrote. “His grades were sensational. Several faculty have individually contacted me to volunteer that Austin was one of the brightest and most enjoyable students they have known…[We] lost someone who amplified the very experience and goals we all have at Boston University’s College of Engineering.”

Brashears was an enthusiastic and much loved Orientation leader during the summer of 2011, where he worked with Rachel DeRaney (ENG’12), Vee Faller (ENG’13) and Katie Matthews (SED’12).

“He was a very loving, caring person,” said DeRaney. “He just radiated happiness. He was extremely intelligent, top of his class. He was an amazing role model for his freshmen and transfer students.”

According to Faller, Brashears “was incredibly smart, handsome, playful and wildly popular. He went undefeated in Words with Friends, mesmerized the summer staff with his love card readings and was able to see the good in everyone. He was always there for us when we needed him most. People will remember him for his zest for life and ability to start a dance party anywhere. He was genuine and an amazing person and friend.”

Katie Matthews (SED’12) says Brashears was a “gentleman,” who was always willing to walk her back to her apartment after late night Orientation events.

“Austin was a very genuine person,” she said. “He always wanted to know how you were doing. He always wanted to know what he could do to help other people. During Orientation events, it was clear that the incoming freshmen and transfer students he was working with just loved him. I could see how much fun he and his students were having.”

This article was adapted from the original BU Today article.