University Community Celebrates Legacy of Graduate Student who ‘Dreamed Big’
Priyanshu Agwal ’24 M.S., a candidate in the University’s master’s degree program in business analytics, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in New Haven last month. Members of the Charger community gathered to remember an individual whose “happiness was contagious.”
November 15, 2023
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
When Rishav Kant '24 M.S. thinks of his friend Priyanshu Agwal ’24 M.S., he remembers how Agwal would greet him with a big smile. He says that’s how Agwal greeted everyone he saw in the library or in class.
Kant was among Agwal’s friends who recently shared their stories and treasured memories of him as part of a celebration of life held recently at the University. Agwal, who had been pursuing a master’s degree in business analytics and was planning to graduate this spring, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in New Haven last month. Kant had seen Agwal just two days earlier.
“I met him in the library, and he was excited to be applying for jobs,” recalls Kant, a candidate in the University’s graduate program in business analytics. “He also loved New York, and he wanted to work there.”
An international student who hailed from Deoli, India, Agwal came to the U.S. in 2022. He’d served as a business analyst intern with Caliber IT Solutions Inc. for the past year. His professors described him as a successful student who was well-respected by his classmates.
Agwal’s brother Aman Agwal ’23 MBA is a recent graduate of the University. Speaking on behalf of the Agwal family as part of the celebration of life, Atithi Pawar ’24 M.S. said that the brothers had always gone to different schools – until they both became Chargers.
“Everyone said that two Agwals in one school was too much,” said Pawar with a smile. “Priyanshu had strong personality from the start. He dreamed big, and he loved it here.”
‘The beautiful life called Priyanshu’
When Agwal’s parents visited him in the U.S., he showed them around New Haven and the region. His family returned after the accident, staying with him in the hospital and meeting his many friends and fellow Chargers who came to visit him and offer their support. The family made the decision to donate Agwal’s heart.
“His legacy lives on, and he gave a person a second chance at life,” said Surabhi Shreekant Nagraj ’24 M.S., Agwal’s friend and the president of the University’s Indian Student Council. “He was an outstanding student and friend. His happiness was contagious. He reminds us that our time is finite. Let us not only mourn him, let’s celebrate his legacy.”
As part of the ceremony, the Charger community celebrated Agwal’s legacy. His classmates gathered to remember him, to share their favorite memories of him, and to offer their condolences to his family. They also viewed a slideshow of photos and videos of Agwal with his family in the U.S. and with the second family of friends and fellow Chargers that he created.
“There are lots of people here, and that speaks to the person Priyanshu was,” said Steve Macchiarolo, director of graduate and international student life. “He was outgoing, full of life, and loved by many. He lived life to the fullest every day, and he made sure he got the most of his experience in the U.S. and at the University.”
The University will confer Agwal’s degree posthumously during Spring Commencement. Kant, Agwal’s friend, says his friends will continue to remember him and to celebrate the life he lived.
“It feels like Priyanshu is always there for us,” he said. “When our friends meet, we’ll get a beer for him and celebrate the beautiful life called Priyanshu.”