Remembering Nick Lucaj

Kim Green

The Quinnipiac community read an email in shock last Thursday announcing the passing of a friend to many and a peer to more than 5,800 students. While his close friends knew what kind of person he was, those who did not all paused to wonder who was the man behind this tragic news.

Nick Lucaj, a junior from Katonah, N.Y., died unexpectedly early Thursday morning, according to Hamden Police.

“Nick may have been quiet or shy when going to class but he had a personality that could not be rivaled,” said Derek Sabety, one of Nick Lucaj’s roomates. “He was friendly and outgoing to everyone that met him, and would do just about anything for a complete stranger.

“He never would burden anyone with any of his problems or worries, for he was completely selfless and caring for his friends.”

Lucaj was majoring in chemistry and was seen as a bright student by professors.

Susan Henderson, Lucaj’s advisor and former chemistry professor reflects on the man who sat before her in both the classroom and during their one-on-one meetings.

“He was a quiet gentle soul, calm, unassuming, and just a little shy,” Henderson said. “He was always polite and respectful and nice to everyone. I will miss his trusting brown eyes as we sat and pored over courses, lab reports, problem sets and future plans. He was so full of good will and I am saddened by our loss.”

Outside of the classroom, American and Japanese manga comic books were his reading material of choice, Sabety said. He also enjoyed playing video games with his friends.

“The hours we spent playing video games on the couch would perhaps shock non-players, but to us, there was nothing better,” Sabety said. “He was lighthearted and fun loving.”

Lucaj treated his friends as if they were family, Sabety said.

“Nick was a kind friend to all and a wonderful human being,” said Vincent Brasesco, a junior, friend and neighboring York Hill resident. “All we can and should do is remember the fond memories we share with him and pray for his family through this undoubtedly rough time.”

Sarah DeFino, a friend to Lucaj since freshman year, was devastated by the loss.

“He was a great kid, always willing to help you,” she said soon after hearing of his death.

Lucaj’s passing was reported in a MyQ announcement from Manuel Carreiro, vice president and dean of students.

“There are no words to adequately express our sympathy for this profound loss for Nick’s family and friends,” Carreiro said in the announcement. “We extend our prayers and condolences.”

Quinnipiac students seeking counseling can go to health services on Mount Carmel campus.

“His friends were his second family, and we would all do anything for each other,” Sabety said. “We had a bond that was strengthened and realized through Nick’s own actions of kindness.”