A funeral service was held Monday for Adam Oakes, the 19-year-old from Loudoun County, Virginia, who recently died at a fraternity event.
Courtney White, his cousin who spoke on behalf of the family, told mourners that the freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University “always found ways to connect with anyone he met.”
“Adam was extremely smart, and was just starting to hit his stride in life,” she said.
A close friend, Ben Davis, also spoke: “Adam Oakes was a beautiful and pure soul.”
And Oakes’ uncle, Steve Pritchett, said his nephew was “a big beautiful kid, with an even bigger smile.”
White told The Richmond Times-Dispatch that Oakes was at a Delta Chi fraternity event where he was given a bottle of Whiskey, told to drink it and was blindfolded. Oakes, she said, then ran into a tree and hit his head. He was found unresponsive early Feb. 27.
A cause of death has yet to be determined. VCU and Richmond police are still investigating.
White said the family does not want to abolish Greek life on college campuses, but has started an organization to inform high school students about the possible dangers of pledging a fraternity or sorority.
“We do want to make sure that these organizations understand that hazing and other barbaric forms of pressure are not acceptable in our society,” White said.