University community mourns loss of Mandeep Bedi, AB’10

UPDATE: A campus remembrance of Mandeep Bedi’s life will be held Thursday, Sept. 1. Members of the campus community are welcome to attend.

It is customary in the Sikh tradition to wear white at the time of mourning. Elizabeth Bedi, Mandeep’s widow, invites guests to follow this tradition, if they choose, and to consider wearing white, light or bright colors.

The schedule for Thursday is as follows:

11 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.  – A gathering in Bartlett Quad to prepare a graffiti wall; Mandeep Bedi’s senior thesis was on American graffiti.

2 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.  – A campus remembrance service at Rockefeller Chapel, followed by a reception in Ida Noyes Hall.

The University of Chicago community responded with profound sadness to the tragic death on Aug. 25 of Mandeep Bedi, AB’10.

Bedi, 23, who received an undergraduate degree in anthropology, continued to work on campus as a sales intern for the IT Services Solution Center at the University of Chicago. His wife, Elizabeth Bedi, is a fourth-year anthropology student in the undergraduate College. She was injured in a traffic incident that took place Friday, Aug. 19, and resulted in the death of Mandeep Bedi.

“This is an incredibly painful loss for our community,” said Kimberly Goff-Crews, Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students in the University. “Mandeep has been a bright presence on campus, concerned for his fellow students, intellectually engaged, and committed to helping his colleagues. We will all honor his memory.

“On behalf of Dean John Boyer and the University community, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mandeep Bedi,” Goff-Crews said. “We are especially concerned for our student, Elizabeth Bedi, and we are offering any guidance and assistance she might need in this terribly difficult time.”

Many of Mandeep Bedi’s colleagues and friends recalled his eagerness to serve others and create a welcoming atmosphere. In 2009, he taught two courses to Chicago high school students – one on the politics of soccer and another on contemporary freedom of speech. Bedi’s volunteer effort was organized by Splash! Chicago, a student-run organization that gives UChicago students a chance to design and teach short classes every fall.

“He made everyone feel at home,” said Kevin Brooks, sales manager of the IT Services Solution Center, who oversaw Bedi’s work there. Brooks said that when Bedi started work at the computing sales and service center, he would offer patrons coffee when they entered.

“He was just an engaging personality,” Brooks said. Bedi started working at the Solution Center in 2009, and continued his work after graduation as he considered pursuing graduate studies, Brooks said.

Bedi’s previous campus job was as a Residential Computing Assistant, where he helped students and staff in residence halls with their computing problems. Richard J. Mason, director of operations and communications for Housing and Dining Services, said Bedi was “a very sensitive and compassionate person.”

An avid fan of the English soccer team Arsenal, Bedi had an academic interest in the anthropology of urban graffiti, Brooks said.

“We wanted to keep him in our office as long as we could, because he made an incredible impact here,” Brooks said.