University mourns death of ’01 graduate

Kathleen Dooley

ST. MAARTEN ISLAND, Caribbean – Ajeet Nandwani ’01, died unexpectedly in a Sept. 4 car accident in his hometown on St. Maarten Island. Nandwani, 22, lost control of his jeep and veered off the road into a lagoon, where he drowned.

Since his graduation, Nandwani had been working at his family’s business in St. Maarten. He was cremated in Puerto Rico on Sept. 7.

“He was one of the most open-hearted, friendliest guys that you’ll ever meet,” senior Varun Manchanda, Nandwani’s friend, said. “He always had a smile on his face.”

Friends of Nandwani met at the University on Sept. 5 for an informal gathering to celebrate his life. “Basically, whoever found out showed up,” Manchanda said. “We had a moment of silence and shared memories…Ajeet brought everybody together.”

Thursday, a more formal service was held in Corr Hall Chapel. The service, which was led by Rev. Shawn Tracy, O.S.A., gave students and alumni the chance to reflect on Nandwani’s life. The service was announced to all current students, faculty and staff, as well as the Classes of ’01 and ’02.

According to Manchanda, friends of Nandwani are looking into establishing a plaque somewhere on campus in remembrance of him.

One possible location is in front of Fedigan Hall, where Nandwani lived his freshman year.

“He taught you how to live life,” Manchanda said. “His personal quote was ‘act as if.’ That’s how he taught many of his friends to live … he affected a lot of lives here.”

Nandwani is survived by his mother, father and sister.