Ben was not only a mentor and a source of inspiration, but also a close friend.
I was always deeply impressed with the wide range of talents Ben commanded -- musically, linguistically, academically -- the list goes on. It was easy to take advice and look up to someone so gifted, and I was grateful (and proud) that he invested his time in me. Looking back and listening to others' similar experiences, I am humbled by the way Ben invested his gifts so tirelessly. The number of people he's mentored, helped, and inspired is truly remarkable.
On his way to leaving a substantive, serious life impact, however, Ben always brought a warm, passionate, and quirky sense of humor. In my experience with Ben -- making jokes as tenor-2's about the "barely-tones", continual good-natured teasing on any topic he could get his hands on (age, experience, basketball skills, where he thinks you're really from, singing mistakes, you name it), and then pretending to throttle those who *dared* to tease back -- he always kept me on my toes. He also kept track -- 10 years after my time at Duke, he continued to ask about my siblings by name, followed up on life events, and stayed present. In this way, I also count myself very lucky to be among the many who count Ben a close friend.
Ben, we will miss you.
- Jason Bhardwaj