Robert Brent, a junior at the University at Southern Mississippi, unexpectedly passed away at the beginning of this month. His passing has affected family, students and staff across campus, who have all said that they were privileged to experience his joyful light.
“Every interaction I had with Rob was a good one. He was also so kind and had a great future ahead of him. Sending his family and friends so much love and light”, said Marlo Hardy, a recent Southern Miss graduate.
Brent, a Yazoo County native, passed away on May 1 due to a swimming accident near Dauphin Island, Alabama. Dauphin Island mayor Jeff Collier confirmed that his body was found four days later, and extended his condolences to Brent’s family and friends. He was 20 years old.
“We are all terribly saddened by the news regarding Southern Miss student Rob Brent, and we have offered his family, friends and loved ones our heart-felt prayers and support,” said Dr. Dee Dee Anderson, the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Brent was well known around Southern Miss’s Hattiesburg campus for his kind heart and his determined spirit. Southern Miss students and faculty members alike remember his kind and supportive nature.
“As anyone who met Rob knows, he was a light in the world,” said Ellen Weinauser, Dean of the Honors College. “With an infectious smile and a gigantic heart, Rob brought joy wherever he went. And he sought to serve: he was a faithful mentor to two Honors Colloquium classes and had planned to mentor again in his senior year. From ascending the climbing wall at the Zoo [despite a fear of heights] to seeing his mentees off as they boarded a bus to Washington, DC, Rob took his role as supportive and caring Honors leader seriously.”
During his time at Southern Miss. Brent was consistently involved with campus organizations. Some of these organizations included, but were not limited to, being an Honors Scholar, a Luckyday Scholar and a member of the Vietnamese Student Association.
“It’s an inexpressible loss. As we mourn, we are also keeping his friends and his family in our hearts,” said Weinauser.
The University of Southern Mississippi will be hosting additional counseling sessions for everyone affected by Brent’s passing. For more information about counseling services, call 601-266-4829 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If students, faculty and staff need to reach SCS after hours or on weekends, they can call 601-606-HELP (4375).
Moreover, Brent’s mother, Crystal Frazier Wilson, is currently working to set up the Robert Brent Scholarship Fund in his honor. Contributions can be sent to the Scholarship Fund either through CashApp at $ElderCrys or PayPal at Paypal.me/CrystalFrazier76.