It is with a heavy heart that we report on the death of Rob Atkinson, our active brother and student at Southwestern. We are all praying for Rob’s family, and his extended family, as we cope with the loss of someone so special.

As more information becomes available, we will post it on this site.

Copied here is the communication from SU President Jake Schrum to the Southwestern campus community.

Dear Members of the Southwestern Community,

Tragedy struck the campus Thursday night when senior Robert Atkinson was hit and killed by a car as he was crossing University Avenue around 8:20 p.m.

Rob was a leader on campus and was involved with numerous organizations, including the Theatre for Social Justice group and the Student Peace Alliance. His death is a tremendous loss for us, particularly coming at this time of year.

Those who knew Rob and would like to gather together today may do so at 1 p.m. in the ballrooms. We will keep you posted as additional services are scheduled. As always, members of our Counseling Services staff are available in the Robertson Center for those who need help coping with this tragedy.

Please keep Rob’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Jake B. Schrum

Local news coverage: news report story and video

Rob in his own words:

Students Unite for a Department of Peace
by Rob Atkinson

My motivation in doing political and social activism work is rooted in a strong spiritual desire for strengthening community identity and creating a normalization of compassion, which can be significantly furthered through political work. Along with being very involved in the Student Peace Alliance, I practice the Lakota spiritual tradition and am president of a Native American student organization on my campus, I am a musician, painter, and public speaker. I have also studied urban environmental sustainability through a collective I lived at last summer, and am looking forward to a possible internship this next summer working with nonprofit violence-prevention groups in central Texas. For me, it all boils down to political and social activism as a vehicle of spiritual integrity, and the deep joy that emerges when our abstract visions for a good world actualize into realistic and concrete initiatives.
—Rob Atkinson

Rob Atkinson – Teaching Peace Conference – Part 1