Yale student Azeez Belo-Osagie ’17 died last week while on leave from Yale. He was 19 years old.
In an email sent early Friday morning, Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway conveyed the news of Belo-Osagie’s death to Yale College students, and urged them to turn to each other for comfort.
“It is my sad duty to tell you that Azeez Belo-Osagie … has died unexpectedly while on leave from Yale,” Holloway wrote. “I share [this news] with you now in the knowledge that Azeez’s friends spanned the entire campus.”
Less than an hour earlier, Elizabeth Bradley, the master of Branford — Belo-Osagie’s residential college — had sent a similar email only to Branford students, letting them know that her house would be open to all those who wanted to come. She added that she had no additional information to report.
“For those of you who had the pleasure of knowing Azeez, you will remember an enormous smile and the loving gentleness he brought to everything he did,” Bradley wrote.
Belo-Osagie — who was born in Nigeria and lived in London — was involved with international student groups on campus, including the Yale African Students Association and the Yale European Undergraduates. He was also a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
Students discussed and remembered Belo-Osagie at Bradley’s house Friday night. The gathering then moved to the college’s main courtyard, where students lit candles in remembrance of Belo-Osagie.
“He was a tremendously friendly, open and fun-loving person with a warm and gentle way,” Bradley said. “We will all miss him dearly.”
Students interviewed said they will remember Belo-Osagie as a loving, kind and supportive friend.
Alicia Lovelace ’17, a friend of Belo-Osagie who lived near him in Vanderbilt Hall freshman year, described him as “just a really loyal and good friend.” She recalled frequently walking into his suite in Vanderbilt Entryway D last year, always finding him sitting on his futon and ready to listen to anyone who needed him.
“The ways in which he affected my life cannot be quantified at the moment, or probably ever,” Holly Robinson ’17, another friend of Belo-Osagie, said in an email. “All I can say is that he was, and is, loved.”
Echoing Robinson, Kate Simon ’17 said in an email that Belo-Osagie brought “an unquantifiable amount of joy and laughter to everyone he knew.”
Many members of SAE attended a mass on Friday in remembrance of their friend and fraternity brother Belo-Osagie.