Class of 2011 alumnus passes away

Ellen Kan, Print Editor-in-Chief

On March 31, Jefferson Class of 2011 graduate Jordan Basl passed away.

Basl, 22, was a senior at the University of South Carolina (USC), where he studied economics, global supply chain and operations management and international business. He was heavily involved in the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi (DSP), as well as USC’s radio station, improv troupe and Chinese Club.

Basl’s friends and family remember him as a gifted musician and songwriter; he cofounded the band Pillow Talk in September 2014. An avid traveler, Basl also studied abroad at both the Beijing Language and Culture University in China and Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

To honor Basl, DSP hosted a memorial open to both fraternity members and Basl’s outside friends. The event featured a video of photos and videos of Basl, followed by an open discussion, during which friends and acquaintances spoke about Basl’s impact on their lives.

“Despite not knowing him well, every time we ran into each other, he was genuinely interested in how I was doing,” Jefferson Class of 2013 graduate Andrew Freix, who studies at the University of South Carolina and attended the DSP memorial, said. “The lesson I, and many others, took from the memorial service was to try to live like Jordan did: always brightening people’s days and being friends with anyone despite their differences.”

Basl’s former classmates who were far away from USC also found their own ways to celebrate his life. After hearing of Basl’s death, on April 2, TJ Drama alumni at U.Va. gathered to share memories of their beloved friend.

“We looked up old pictures, watched videos and reminisced,” Class of 2012 alumnus Rishi Malhotra, a junior at U.Va., said. “At the time, there was no other place I wanted to be than with my friends. It was a bittersweet reunion, and I only wish our coming-together had been under better circumstances.”

At Jefferson, Basl followed the robotics track, taking the senior research lab and devoting time to the FIRST Robotics Team. He was involved in Latin as well through competing on the Certamen team. Basl was also a passionate member of the tight-knit drama department and Shakespeare Troupe.

“TJ Drama alumni are really close, and I’ve seen a lot of people be very supportive and willing to help out or lend an ear in whatever way they can,” Jefferson Class of 2014 graduate Yena Seo, a freshman at Ithaca College who remembers Basl as “funny, talented and laid-back,” said. “In TJ Drama, we have a saying called ‘Keep the Faith,’ which is followed by ‘and Take Care of Each Other,’ and I think this is really one of those moments where we’re going by those statements.”