Friends remember Brad Peterson, who passed away in his dorm on Thursday.
Brad Peterson loved Ron Paul.
In fact, senior political science major Andrew Napoli said Peterson traveled to a conservative convention last year and met the well-known libertarian politician, calling it “one of the highlights of his life, no doubt.” Peterson had a way of getting things like that done, Napoli, a friend and colleague, said.
Peterson, a 20-year-old junior in Fox School of Business, passed away in his room in 1300 Residence Hall, last week.
Police were called at approximately 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, when Peterson, a Yardley, Pa. native, was found dead in his room, Ray Betzner, vice president of university communications, said. The cause of death has not yet been released to the public.
Napoli said Peterson, president of Temple Libertarians, a registered student organization, always took advantage of opportunities.
“He really had a way of getting things done for himself and for the organizations he was involved with,” Napoli said. Napoli is vice president of Temple Libertarians.
“I met him on numerous occasions…and he was a pretty cool guy. He was devoted to the cause of liberty. I’ll miss him,” Barry Scatton, a 2010 alumnus, said. Scatton is the former president of Temple University College Republicans.
Last April, Peterson worked relentlessly to bring financial expert Peter Schiff to Main Campus, Napoli said. Although he was told by Schiff’s office that the radio host was unable to come and speak to the group because it wasn’t a registered organization, Peterson didn’t give up.
“He was just persistent and he kept talking to them and we actually got him to come like a month later,” Napoli said. “That was all [Peterson], no one there to help him get it done. Somehow, Brad managed to talk him into it.”
Napoli said he, Peterson and senior international business and economics major Duy Le, entered Fox School of Business Be Your Own Boss Bowl, last year. The three spent four days developing a 15-page business plan for DAVA Group, Le’s self-created company for marketing his website, whatsoncampus.com.
“It took about four days of work, nonstop. We were like the three stooges for those four days,” Napoli said. “It was just a lot of fun. He was just a lot of fun to be around.”
Le said Peterson then became director of finances for the website.
“Whenever you looked at his face you can tell…he always [strived] for what he believed in, he never gave up,” Le said.
Lately, Napoli said, Peterson was observing the Occupy movement, which, he said, libertarians are split on.
Peterson saw the movement as a means of spreading the libertarian message, Napoli said.
“He was extremely rational,” Napoli said. “Everything had a logical reason behind what he said. He was the most brilliant person I have known, in terms of intelligence.”
A makeshift memorial sign on the gate in front of 1300 has appeared in the days following Peterson’s passing. On it, friends and fellow college libertarians wrote messages recalling memories with the junior–and, of course, mentioning Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign.
“There is nothing I cherish more than doing the things I love with people I care about,” co-president of Temple Libertarians Michelle Montalvo wrote. “Every moment fighting for liberty and every smile that resulted from spreading our love for it, is something I will always treasure. You were my friend, Brad, and I’ll miss you every day.”
Angelo Fichera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Update: Jeff Moran, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, has since said the cause of death was an accidental drug intoxication.]
[Editor’s Note: The Temple News originally reported that Temple Libertarians is an unregistered student group. It is a registered organization.]