Georgetown law student and a New South residential minister, Cedric Asiavugwa, died in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight that killed all 157 people on board March 10.
Asiavugwa, 32, was traveling to Nairobi, Kenya, when flight ET302 crashed near Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Asiavugwa should be remembered for his character — especially his concern for the well-being of others, according to Fr. Gregory Schenden, S.J., the director of campus ministry. He spent three years as a residential minister on the second floor of New South, where he provided support to first-year students.
“While Cedric certainly accomplished much good in his life, it is my hope that he will always be remembered for the extraordinary values that governed his life – his kindness and generosity, his magnanimity and deep love and care for all, especially those most in need,” Schenden wrote in an email to The Hoya.
The mass held at 7 p.m. in Dahlgren Chapel on March 10 was dedicated to Asiavugwa.
Born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya, Asiavugwa graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. After graduating, he traveled in eastern Africa, working on issues such as refugee settlement and food security. He also served as the assistant director of advancement for a free high school in Nairobi, Kenya, for orphans living with HIV/AIDS.
Asiavugwa was recognized for his dedication to social justice issues, William Treanor, dean and executive vice president at Georgetown Law, and Rev. Mark Bosco, vice president for mission and ministry, wrote in a March 10 campus-wide email to the Georgetown community.
“With his passing, the Georgetown family has lost a stellar student, a great friend to many, and a dedicated champion for social justice across East Africa and the world,” Treanor and Bosco wrote.
Asiavugwa was also a practicing Catholic and Jesuit Scholastic for the past eight years, while living in both Africa and the United States.
Asiavugwa’s residents mourn the loss of their community leader, who served as a positive influence to students, according to New South 2 resident Julio Perla (SFS ’22).
“He was extremely caring, he paid close attention to our responses and offered us advice. He told us he was there for us if we ever needed anything,” Perla wrote in an email to The Hoya. “I also know that Cedric made a tremendous impact on my fellow NS2 peers, he was just an overall incredible human being and he was an important member of our floor.”
Asiavugwa was a supportive leader, particularly to his residence hall and to underserved populations, according to Matthew Hall, the associate director for residential ministry.
“I can attest to the caring, pastoral support that Cedric provided to New South over three years as a residential minister, the gentle support he provided for fellow RMs, and the impact of his efforts working toward social justice and inclusion,” Hall wrote in an email to The Hoya.
As a third-year student at Georgetown Law, Asiavugwa was pursuing a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degree in international business and economic law. He was also the recipient of several Georgetown scholarships, including the Blume Public Interest Law scholarship and the Global Law scholarship, which provide law students with additional resources and mentorship.
During the fall semester, Asiavugwa worked directly with refugees as a part of the Center for Applied Legal Studies clinic, where he assisted those seeking asylum in the United States.
Asiavugwa planned to continue social justice work in Africa after obtaining his law degree, according to the March 10 email.
“Cedric’s goal was to return to Kenya after his studies to pursue a career promoting the rights of refugees in East Africa and beyond,” Treanor and Bosco wrote.