Members of the class of 2011 in conjunction with faculty members are in the beginning stages of establishing a memorial fund in honor of Mark Adamsson ’11, Andover alumnus and Georgetown student, who passed away while on spring break in the Dominican Republic.
Adamsson, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, died from lung and heart failure because of medical reasons, according to the “Washington Post.” He was 22.
“He was a gentleman and a scholar, and he was thoughtful and kind to his peers and the adults on campus, and I was very proud that he represented Andover. I was really shocked to hear that he’d passed away because he was so young and had such promise… People who knew him were all impressed by him. It was a real loss for a lot of people,” said Christopher Odden, who served as Adamsson’s house counselor at Andover.
While at Andover, Adamsson was a captain of the Boys Varsity A Tennis team, and the memorial fund will be dedicated to providing equipment and uniforms for Varsity Tennis in the upcoming years.
“It’s still in the very early stages, but the short term goal [of the fund] is an immediate honoring of Mark with embroidered uniforms for the Boys Varsity A [tennis] team,” said Michael Kontaxis ’11, teammate and friend of Adamsson at Andover.
Kontaxis helped coordinate the establishment of this fund, along with Peter Heidrich ’11, Adamsson’s Co-Captain on the tennis team, Trey Meyer ’09, former Captain of the tennis team and friend of Adamsson, Michael Kuta, Athletic Director, and some of Adamsson’s other former teammates.
“[We] have been discussing possibilities at length to honor his memory, and this fund was decided upon in coordination with Coach Kuta and the administration as a solution to both immediate and long term goals,” said Kontaxis.
Adamsson’s memorial fund will also have a long-term impact on the tennis team, as the money will also go towards improvements to the tennis facilities in both practical ways and ways commemorative of Adamsson’s time at Andover.
Organizers of the fund hope that both the fund and its contributions can stand as lasting testaments to Adamsson’s legacy at Andover both as a tennis player and as a friend.
“While Mark’s life may have been tragically cut short, we’re hoping that his contributions to Andover Tennis will live on through the players and facilities of years to come,” said Kontaxis.
During his time at Andover, Adamsson was a fierce competitor on the tennis court, and he brought his team to many victories. Most prominently, Adamsson triumphed in the deciding match during the championships his Senior year, winning first place for himself and his team, according to Boys Varsity Tennis Coach Greg Wilkin.
“It was magnificent,” Wilkin said of Adamsson’s victory during the championship game of the 2011 tennis finals. “Put Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack from Gladiator on in the back of your mind and imagine that. … Nobody who saw that match that day will ever forget it nor the obvious, indisputable fact that Mark had the heart of a lion.”
Adamsson was also a great friend, a proctor, a Flagstaff GeograBee cluster finalist and winner of the “best-dressed” senior superlative among other achievements, according to Kontaxis.
“I’d argue Mark got the ‘best-dressed’ superlative not merely for his sense of style, but for the way he carried himself… He was a hard worker and an intense competitor, had a wry sense of humor and, for those who knew him, a respectable amount of humility. I’ll always remember him for his distinct combination of poise and determination,” said Kontaxis.
Heidrich said, “Mark was a very well-dressed, tall Swede. He was very helpful in my transition to Andover my junior year of high school and a well-respected athlete at Andover… and in class he was a great student and intellectual.”
“He was a natural leader and instilled a great deal of confidence in the younger players with his dedication to practice and willingness to share advice with the [Juniors],” Heidrich continued.