George Washington Community Remembers Patrick Casey

September 29, 2011

A memorial service will be held Oct. 6 in Veterans Park.

Patrick Casey, a 33-year-old George Washington graduate student in the Elliott School of International Affairs, has died following injuries he sustained in an off-campus incident last week.

The university was notified of his death Tuesday. The Metropolitan Police Department is conducting an investigation around the incident that led to Mr. Casey’s death.

Mr. Casey, a veteran of the U.S. Army Infantry, had just begun pursuing a master’s in international affairs this semester.

“The Elliott School program was exactly what he was looking for,” said Mr. Casey’s mother, Gail Casey. “He loved the intellectual push and thinking about things in a different way.”

Mr. Casey’s interest in international affairs began while working in Israel for a U.S.-based gaming company called Multimedia Games. A few years later, Mr. Casey, of Clifton Park, N.Y., enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Fort Lewis near Seattle. Expecting to be deployed to Iraq, Mr. Casey spent a year learning Arabic to prepare for serving as a translator. When he ended up being deployed to Afghanistan instead, he took a crash course in Pashto.

“He loved learning different languages and being immersed in different cultures,” said Ms. Casey.

He finished his military service in February last year and began looking at graduate programs across the U.S.

“He wanted to focus on Middle East studies and further his Arabic training,” said Ms. Casey.

After researching the Elliott School’s faculty and curriculum, he was sold.

“Everything was coming together for him,” said Ms. Casey. “It was a really happy time in his life.”

George Washington President Steven Knapp visited Mr. Casey’s parents and offered the university’s support.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time of extraordinary loss. We will work with them and his friends to memorialize his life,” said Dr. Knapp.

Mr. Casey received a bachelor’s degree in management and technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., where he also played football.

“Pat was always a big strong kid and a standout athlete in high school,” said Ms. Casey. “But he was also a really big teddy bear. He deeply cared for people.”

Mr. Casey is survived by his father, Paul Casey; his mother, Gail Casey; a 31-year-old brother, Kevin Casey; and a 30-year-old sister, Erin Casey.

A visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Emerick Funeral Home, 1550 Route 9 #A in Clifton Park, N.Y. A funeral Mass will be held Tuesday morning at St. Edwards Church, 569 Clifton Park Center Rd. in Clifton Park, N.Y.

The Casey family has said donations can be made in Mr. Casey’s name to Wounded Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provides support to veterans, who have been wounded or killed during combat operations, and their families.

Members of the GW community who are affected by this tragedy are encouraged to contact the University Counseling Center at 202-994-5300. For more information, click here.

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 in Veterans Park at the corner of 22nd and G streets.