Read the moving tribute to Otto Warmbier from his fraternity brothers at UVA

‘Otto was a source of inspiration’


Otto Warmbier’s fraternity brothers at UVA have honored his life in a heartfelt tribute.

Otto, who tragically passed away last week after returning from incarceration in North Korea, was a member of Theta Chi.

Today, the fraternity’s current president Austin Simpson and former president Carter Levinson told The Tab that Otto was “the ideal student.”

“To us, Otto was a source of inspiration,” they said. “He was a model for drive, energy, and compassion. He had the ability to put his nose to the grindstone and get things done. He represented the epitome of friendship.”

Otto Warmbier

Otto Warmbier

Their statement in full reads:

“To many of us at UVA, Otto embodied the ideal student. He had his individual quirks that UVA loves, recognizes, and encourages. He was full of adventure and embodied the questioning spirit of forward progress that academics long for. He symbolized individualism, unabated by anything or anyone around him.

But in order to know who Otto truly was, we must lean on those that knew him. To us, Otto was a source of inspiration. He was a model for drive, energy, and compassion. He had the ability to put his nose to the grindstone and get things done. He represented the epitome of friendship. He had an ability to feel when his friends were in need, and he would give anything to offer them an assisting hand.

What occurred to Otto can never be changed or explained. We cannot fathom what he went through, however we can learn from his life. We can all, in some way, be benefited by being more like Otto.”

This follows last night’s vigil at UVA for Otto.

Students came together at McIntire Amphitheater to remember Otto’s “uncommon charisma” and “infectious energy.”

A statement from Otto’s family mentioned the “outpouring of emotion” they received following his death.

They said: “It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost — future time that won’t be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds.

“You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched — Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia to name just two — that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family.”