Op-ed: A lasting tribute to Alex Bhak

The memorial to Alex Bhak is pictured. (Madeleine Oliver / The Tufts Daily)

On April 2, 2016, we lost Alex Bhak, a beloved member of the Tufts community. Alex was a friend, scholar, gym buddy and so much more. Although we only knew him for a short time, the impression he left upon us endures in the spirit of health and self-improvement he fostered and in the group of friends he brought together. Considering the lasting impact he made upon our lives, we wanted to leave a lasting memory of him on campus.

After three years of careful brainstorming, planning and meeting with the Tufts administration, we are proud to dedicate a memorial that captures Alex’s character and creates a welcoming space on campus. Located just below Tisch Library, the Alex Bhak Memorial Garden is a space where students, faculty and any other members of the Tufts community can take a moment to relax and appreciate Alex’s presence. One of his favorite poems, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman, is inscribed at the base of the memorial. Alex memorized it for a poetry class his first year, and we believe it captures some of his best characteristics: thoughtfulness, curiosity and a personal commitment to furthering his own learning and development. With the poem at its center, we hope this space provides you with the opportunity to pause, reflect and appreciate the people around you. It has already been frequented by the Tufts community, and it warms our hearts to know that this will continue even once we graduate.

As we move into our young professional lives, we will continue to remember him in our own ways, but whenever we find ourselves back on the Hill, this memorial will stand to greet us, serving as a reminder of the warm memories we made with him. Whether you knew Alex personally or not, we hope you enjoy this space and the positive spirit it represents. And maybe even take a moment to look up at the stars.