Colin Elder Davis Memorial

Colin Elder Davis Memorial

Colin was an exceptionally bright, curious, witty, and sensitive human being, a beloved son, and trusted friend.

Colin was born on November 9, 1994, in Madison, Wisconsin, and had big dreams of making a difference in the world from an early age. He earned a BA in physics with minors in philosophy and modern languages from Beloit College in 2017 and was pursuing a PhD in aerospace engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute when his life was cut short in the summer of 2020.

His hope was to find ways to efficiently capture solar energy in space and transfer it to Earth. He loved physics, as it was a way to understand the building blocks of the universe.  Languages were another way to understand the world, and he was conversant in Latin, German and Japanese, and was teaching himself Arabic and Russian. He was also passionate about history.

Colin wrestled with severe anxiety and depression in his teens and twenties, but battled through to learn and to support his friends. He was driven, in part, by hopes of somehow giving back to the world, and to those who had helped him along his journey. He loved helping others learn, and often tutored fellow students. He felt that with great gifts, came great responsibility—considerable weight for young shoulders to bear.

He was a master of puns and could extend a logical argument to exhaustive levels, and he embraced humor as a way to navigate the world and help others understand the complexities of his challenges.

We hope in some small way, a fund in his memory will help others who are challenged by their own ways of being different find support in their journey as well.

With appreciation, from his parents,

Jane Elder and Bill Davis