PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University officials learned early Friday morning that two Brown students were struck by an automobile at approximately 1:40 am Friday at the intersection of Hope and Thayer streets. The students were transported to Rhode Island Hospital by Providence rescue. One student suffered fatal injuries; the other student was treated for injuries and released. The circumstances surrounding this tragedy are being investigated by the Providence Police Department.
On Friday, University President Ruth J. Simmons sent a letter to the campus community. An excerpt follows:
“I am profoundly saddened to write you with the news that, early this morning, Avi Schaefer ’13 was struck by a car on Thayer Street, and died from injuries sustained in the accident.
“A young man of inordinate strength and integrity, Avi had already begun to have an impact on the Brown community. In his first semester he distinguished himself in courses in political thought, religious studies, and Arabic. By all early signs, he was a student who was going to make the most of his time at Brown and his mark on the world after Brown.
“An American who had become an Israeli citizen, he served for three years in the Israeli Defense Forces before coming to Brown. Here at Brown, he was a passionate voice for improving Israeli-Palestinian relations. Well known, loved, and admired in the Hillel community, Avi worked to foster cross-cultural dialogues to help others understand better the complex politics of life in Israel, and, just as importantly, he worked to understand better the views of others. This semester he was at work with Professor David Jacobson on a project to prepare a new course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The campus community will be notified when a date is set later this spring for a campus memorial service honoring Avi’s life.
“We deeply mourn the loss of this brilliant student in our community. I have spoken with Avi’s family and expressed to them our concern and collective grief. Our thoughts and sympathy will remain with them and all of Avi’s friends throughout this difficult time.”
The University’s offices of Chaplains and Religious Life and Psychological Services will offer support to members of the community in need.