EDITOR'S NOTE: An abridged version of this editorial was published in our print edition, due to space constraints. The full editorial is published here. 

Last month, the Brandeis community lost one of its most dedicated workers and adored athletic administrators, Vanessa Cox. On Thursday, Feb. 12, Cox passed away from injuries sustained in a car accident in New Hampshire. This board extends our deepest condolences to Cox’s family, friends and athletes and asks the University community to honor her memory and incredible accomplishments.  

Cox, who joined the University in 2011, left an indelible mark on the Athletics department at Brandeis through her work as the coach of the women’s club lacrosse team and with the Friends of Brandeis Athletic Hall of Fame. At Brandeis, Cox was responsible for coordinating the student workers in the athletic center, so many around campus knew her and have reflected fondly on their time with her in person and on social media for the past few weeks. 

She came to Brandeis after working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was the first head coach in MIT’s program history to be named the New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, according to a Feb. 18 Boston Globe article. 

“If something was difficult for me or my mother, she would pick us up and help us plow through it, while at the same time being a high-quality competitor on the field and off the field,” said Cox’s brother, Brandon, in the Boston Globe article. “It was really something to watch. She was an absolute super human.”

Cox embodied these same qualities in her work at Brandeis where she was continuously dedicated to the success of the Athletics program, as well as to students individually. In announcing the memorial service last week, the Athletics department hoped to “celebrate the vibrant and radiant spirit that Vanessa exuded everyday.” In a Boston Globe article, two lacrosse teammates described Cox as a “passionate and patient” lacrosse coach who gave athletes encouragement and a team-bonding experience. 

Cox is survived by her parents and brother, who reside in the greater Boston area, and her paternal grandparents, who reside in England.