Univ. mourns sophomore star

Kathleen Dooley

The sophomore class lost one of its brightest stars this summer when New Jersey native Bob Hysell was killed in a June 25 automobile accident.

According to Lynda Capuzzi, associate dean of the College of Engineering, Hysell briefly left a party to pick up notes for a class he was taking over the summer. While driving through a notoriously dangerous intersection, Hysell was hit and seriously injured when another car ran a stop sign. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson, N.J. and died the next day.

Hysell is survived by his parents and a younger sister and brother.

A Presidential Scholar with the highest GPA in the Class of 2005, Hysell’s desire to leave a legacy for future generations led him to major in engineering.

“Bob had so much to contribute … it’s hard to be able to judge how he could help Villanova and society in general because of all his gifts,” Capuzzi said. “His loss is immeasurable to all who knew him.”

During his time at the University, Hysell was involved in the honors program and acted as a host to potential presidential scholars, taking rising freshmen to his classes and giving them campus tours.

Hysell also worked to incorporate University students into a personal passion of his – aiding the people of Haiti. Along with his sister, Hysell traveled to Haiti to perform missionary work the summer before his freshman year. He desired to send a group of University students to Haiti for a service break trip.

“He was very forward thinking,” Barbara Romano, honors department coordinator, said. “He felt that what he did here had a ripple effect on the way he lived his life.”

Hysell’s friends remember him as a warm, funny individual who ordered late-night Chinese food in CEER and launched homemade rockets on campus.

“Bob was one of the true selfless people that I’ve ever met,” sophomore Chris Varano said. “He found a good balance in life between getting high grades and having fun.”

According to sophomore Dan Wanniger, Hysell never experienced frustration and often aided friends when homework or personal problems arose.

According to Dr. Edwin Goff, honors department chair, Hysell wrote his Presidential Scholarship essay on his aspiration to make a contribution to the world.

In concluding his essay, Hysell wrote, “Although my name and face will long be forgotten, I hope to leave a legacy through my work as an engineer, improving the lives of future people. Like the anonymous builders of the pyramids and coliseums, the products of my efforts will exist long past my time.”

At his viewing, friends of Hysell’s wrote that statement on poster board and covered it with personal pictures.

“He wanted buildings to be left behind,” Varano said. “Now, the relationships he built and the example he set will live on forever.”

In the days following Hysell’s death, Goff sent out an e-mail addressing Hysell’s loss to the University community. Goff voiced the thoughts of many when he wrote, “We shall be diminished by his absence.”