Sunday, May 3
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored murdered alumnus Brian Adkins last Friday at the State Department with a moving tribute that nearly brought her to tears.
Adkins, a Foreign Service officer found dead in his Ethiopia home this February, was one of four Foreign Service Officers honored by having their names inscribed on a plaque in the State Department’s main lobby at their building adjacent to campus.
Adkins is one of 231 Foreign Service Officers honored by the plaque, which celebrates the lives of Foreign Service Officers who died while serving their tours of duty. Of the four additions, Adkins was the only one that lost his life recently. The other three officers – Edmund Roberts, Thomas Waldron and F.R. Engdahl – died in 1836, 1844 and 1942 respectively.
“Three are many years overdue,” Clinton somberly said of the men. “One is being added all too soon.”
Before paying her respects, Clinton read a message from President Barack Obama, which honored Adkins and the other Foreign Service officers’ memory and thanked Foreign Service officers for their service in making “a better, more democratic world.”
“Please know how grateful we are for his selflessness. I am so grateful for his service,” Clinton said, visibly fighting tears. “I am so grateful that our nation has young people like Brian Adkins.”
Members of the Delta Phi Epsilon, the professional Foreign Service fraternity, were present at the service and are looking to further honor Adkins, an honorary brother since November 2007.
“As an organization, we are working with the University to plant a tree on campus in memory of Brian,” Brandon Mansur, junior, said.
Adkins was murdered in his home during his first year of duty in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, where he was performing consular work. He earned two degrees from GW – a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master’s degree in 2007 – both in international affairs.