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News & Blogs: In Memoriam

Class of 2001 celebrates Alex Kimmins

jeudi 20 juillet 2017   (0 Comments)
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This past April, the Ecolint family lost one of its dearest, Alex Kimmins (LGB '01). As we write this, on 17 July, 2017, Alex would have turned 35, and he has left behind a void that most of us will be grappling with for years to come.

Many have already said it: Alex had the life force of the sun, the enthusiasm of a puppy, and the intellectual curiosity of a scientist. He was notorious for making you wait, which would drive you mad; but when he finally reached you, you got no less than his full warmth, undivided attention, and a rare feeling of being really heard. Not to mention his legendary hugs.

A celebration on "the field"

These were just some of the testimonies shared on 1 July, 2017, when around 40 alumni and faculty came from across Europe and North America to the LGB campus to celebrate Alex's life. Some of us had known him at Ecolint since kindergarten, as one of the core "amis d'enfance". Others joined LGB later, forming a group that came of age together on that very spot on campus where we held his memorial (or what we used to call "the field"). Still others had only met him in passing, but the mark he had left on them was indelible. Together, under a testy sky, we barbecued and shared classic Kimmins stories, steps away from where many of us graduated with him. Many more sent in their testimonies from afar, showing just how many people he'd touched in his short life. 


 

"Tu auras, toi, des étoiles qui savent rire"

As much as Alex has left a void behind, people from all over rushed to come fill it. In honor of his dutch heritage, a group of his closest friends from high school opted to plant a tulip tree on campus in his name. It was planted on the back end of the rugby pitch, flanking the edge of the forest, with one eye on the world of sports, and the other cast upon the wilds - two of his great passions. As luck would have it, the best spot for the health of the tree was just a few steps away from the rugby goal posts - right where it is most likely to get a good beating from rugby balls gone astray. A best childhood friend of Alex's contributed a hand-engraved plaque. Engraved in the plaque is a quote from Alex's favorite book, Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, selected by Alex' sister. The plaque will soon be laid on a wooden bench under the tree, which is generously being made by one of Alex's childhood neighbors. Dozens more contributed to the memorial, and donations went to the Chailey Heritage Foundation, a charity that was of great personal importance to Alex.

 

Just remember: Kimmins would go

Few people would have had this capacity to bring people together, and to the surprise of many, the air that day of the memorial was imbued with a constant sound of laughter. While he leaves us all at a loss, he has, even in his absence, made us laugh and feel more connected to each other, and evermore dedicated to do a little bit more, go a little bit further, squeeze one more moment in. Alex never wasted a second, and he always challenged us to surpass our own limits, with a cheeky little grin. Not surprising then that we left his memorial with a new catchphrase to keep us company. Next time you're feeling tired, lazy and unmotivated, just remember: Kimmins would go. This is, without doubt, Alex's legacy. 

Happy birthday Kimmins!

- LGB Class of 2001 
17 July, 2017

Friends gathered by the tulip tree planted on campus, close to the rugby pitch, in memory of Alex.


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