Flynn Izard, a graduate student in the public administration program, died on Jan. 21 in Binghamton, N.Y. He was 27.
Izard was born in Saudi Arabia and received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Binghamton University in 2012.
Jennifer Hampton, a senior majoring in biology, was close friends with Izard. She described him as a passionate person.
“He was kind of reserved, and he wasn’t the most extroverted person, but he was so passionate about certain things that when he spoke to you he could go on for hours — he would go on for hours,” Hampton said.
Hampton recalled that Izard had a constantly changing look and a knack for impressions.
“He was a cool cat,” Hampton laughed. “He was like this pseudo-hippie who really wasn’t a hippie at all … He had the most beautiful eyes, and this goofy smile when he got excited about things.”
According to Hampton, his interests ranged from basketball to animals to music. One of his fondest memories was receiving his first guitar.
“He got a guitar from his grandmother when he was younger, and he treasured it more than anything else he has ever owned,” Hampton said.
Izard was raised a Buddhist, and was inspired by Buddhism throughout his life, according to Hampton.
Izard spent some of his childhood in Saudi Arabia, and had an affinity for travel.
“He kind of felt like a nomad even though he was in Binghamton the whole time I’ve known him,” Hampton said.
Hampton said Izard had a remarkable personality, instantly recognizable even by near strangers.
“I wish that he knew how many people loved him, because I didn’t have any idea, and I don’t think he did either,” Hampton said. “People remembered him when they met him. People who literally knew him for days remembered him and were impacted a lot by both his life and his death. He was special — people just loved him.”
Jade Maniscalco, a 2012 alumna who majored in psychology, remarked on how unique he acted in his life.
“He was like a character out of a great American novel or something,” Maniscalco said. “Smoking a cigarette, with his ponytail slicked back, he stared into the sky and swallowed it whole.”
Kim Clark, a graduate student studying public administration, is in the same program as Izard. In an email, Clark remembered Izard for his open-mindedness.
“He was very witty, analytical and willing to reflect on others’ perspectives, even when new or opposed to his own,” Clark said.
Rae Blair, Izard’s childhood friend, knew him for 16 years. Blair considered Izard a loyal friend through the years she knew him.
“He was my friend, my comrade and a kindred spirit if there ever was one,” Blair wrote in an email. “We stuck by each others’ sides through everything.”
David Campbell, chair of the department of public administration, called Izard’s death a loss for the University.
“We’re really sad that he died, and we’re pleased that he had hoped to have a career in public service,” Campbell said.
Izard is survived by his father and mother, Carroll and Karen Izard, and his brother, Connor Izard.
Funeral services will be private. Students affected by Izard’s death are advised to contact the University Counseling Center.
Correction: Jan. 29, 2013
An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Flynn Izard’s birthplace. He was born in Saudi Arabia, not Syracuse. Additionally, the article contained an incorrect spelling of the name of Izard’s brother. It is spelled Connor, not Conor.