Tributes to Alexander Patel '18
David Mwakima '17
Alex and I met in our freshman year when we did Mission Hill Afterschool Program together. His engagement with the kids we were working with showed me that Alex was a very kind, caring and dedicated person with a sincere desire to share his time and experience to empower others. When we took a class together in the Fall 2016, I remember Alex’s generosity when I requested for his help with the material in that class. I will not forget that evening in Adams House Dining Hall when he sat with me to go over some of the questions I had so patiently when he could have been studying himself. Not only did Alex have a big heart, but he was also warm, approachable and very sensitive: a friend who could lift others up. When I expressed my doubts and inadequacies that Fall about the job search process, it was Alex who helped me see things from the right perspective and reassured me. I will remain grateful for the time we spent, for his friendship and the special way he touched my life.
Alex is one of the most thoughtful and brightest students I have had the pleasure of working with, both at Graland and Kent Denver. Ever since I began to know him as a fourth grader, there were special qualities about him. Alex’s character, intellect, and devoting himself to important causes to help others were very distinctive.
His class at Graland was one of my favorite as a substitute teacher there, and he stood out with his curiosity and ability to figure out electrical circuits or other topics we were studying. I also recall what a helpful and contributing member of his class he was. Not only would he be on task, but he would try to encourage classmates to do the right thing too.
It was very fortunate for me as the junior varsity tennis coach at Kent Denver that Alex decided to play tennis during his junior and senior years. He worked his way up the ladder and made steady improvement during both years. Alex combined his athleticism with his ability to figure things out on the court and had success both years. His teammates voted him the “Most Improved Player Award” as a junior, and his senior season was also memorable. After losing the first match of the season in a tiebreak, Alex won the remainder of his doubles matches, including a close one at the top position in his final match at East that also was the deciding team match. Alex wanted to do well for both his partner and his coach more than for himself.
Recently, I have become aware of many of Alex’s later accomplishments and causes. I had seven great years working with Alex, and I will fondly remember a brilliant, kind boy who made a real difference in many of our lives.