The University of New Haven community gathered to remember Raymond Rolle '22 and Kenu Adderley '20, '21, friends from the Bahamas who were killed in a car accident earlier this month.
April 26, 2022
When Abdullah Fatah '20 was a sophomore at the University, he met Kenu Adderley '20, '21 M.S. while working on a project on campus. Adderley didn't just help Fatah with his schoolwork – he also became a new friend.
Fatah shared his fond memories of Adderley as part of a celebration of life that the University community held for Adderley and his friend Raymond Rolle '22, a computer engineering major, who were killed in a car accident in the New Haven area earlier this month.
"Kenu told me he wanted to learn to cook different dishes, but he always cooked chicken and rice," said Fatah, smiling at the memory. "He was a smart, positive person and a trustworthy man. He was goal-oriented, ambitious, and a dreamer. His dreams were driven by the love of and for his family."
'We can take comfort in cherishing memories'
Christopher Potz '22, Rolle's friend and neighbor, told the University community that Rolle was special. Potz said he only has positive memories of his friend, and he shared his own anecdotes about him.
"It took him about eight months to clean his room," he said to laughter. "He had motherboards to build. He left behind an energy I'll carry wherever I go."
Rolle's and Adderley's friends and professors spoke as part of the ceremony, as well as Rolle's uncle and his landlord and Adderley's mother. Several of Adderley's colleagues from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates in Shelton attended the memorial. Rolle and Adderley were also both natives of the Bahamas, and the Hon. Leroy F. Major of the Bahamas Consulate General spoke at the ceremony.
"Both young men were well-known for their commitment to academic excellence," he said. "We can take comfort in cherishing memories of these fine young men."
'I saw his confidence build'
Jean Nocito-Gobel, Ph.D., was one of Adderley's professors. She says Adderley, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from the University, was a "wonderful young man" who always looked for opportunities to give back to others.
"My first impression of him during his sophomore year was that he was a quiet student," she said. "But I soon realized there was more to his quiet demeanor. He carried an energy that a lot of people don't have, and his respect and kindness toward others was unmatched, both in and out of the classroom. He was passionate about engineering and using his talents to make a positive impact."
Dr. Nocito-Gobel's colleague, Christopher Martinez, Ph.D., was Rolle's academic adviser. He also had Rolle in one of his classes this semester, and he shared his last memory of him.
"He stayed after class a couple weeks ago," said Dr. Martinez. "Ray wanted to discuss his project, and I told him I was proud of his work and that he was making great progress this semester. I'm thankful I got to know Ray these past four years. I saw his confidence build during that time."
'Once a Charger, always a Charger'
As part of the ceremony, students read a poem in Rolle's and Adderley's honor. Members of their families attended the ceremony, and Paula Adderley, Kenu's mother, said her only son made her very proud.
"He wanted to succeed in life and he did," she said. "He wanted to help people in whichever way he could. He wanted to leave his mark and be helpful."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Sofia Martinez '22, president of the University's Undergraduate Student Government Association, and Camille Sosa '23 M.A., president of the Graduate Student Council, presented flowers to the families.
"We are here to mourn the loss of and celebrate the lives of Raymond and Kenu," said Martinez. "I can see their memories live on. Once a Charger, always a Charger."
Grief counseling is available through the University's Counseling and Psychological Services Office. The Dean of Students office is also available to students at (203) 932-7176 or by email at DeanOfStudents@newhaven.edu. A GoFundMe page has been created to help support Rolle's and Adderley's families.