__Isshin Teshima also authored this article.__
Jacob Nisbet ’10 was known by his friends as a nice guy who could start a conversation at any time, as someone who was always there for his friends and up for meeting new people.
“He was the kind of person who was super friendly and not afraid to approach people,” Nisbet’s friend Liz Pedraja ’09 said.
Last Thursday morning, after a nearly year-long battle with lymphoma, Nisbet passed away at the age of 20.
In an e-mail Friday to students from Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88 Ph.D ’06, Nisbet’s mother, Carmen Torres-Nisbet, described her son’s love for the College of William and Mary.
“Jacob has excelled in all aspects of his life … school, church, sports, music, college,” Torres-Nisbet said. “He really loved William and Mary so much. He enjoyed his amazing professors and making wonderful friends. His main goal was to come back, though that wasn’t to be.”
After graduating as the class valedictorian from Phoebus High School in Hampton, Va., Nisbet became highly involved at the College. In addition to focusing on a major in sociology, Nisbet was a member of the Virginia Legacy Club Soccer team in Williamsburg.
According to his friend, West Point Academy Cadet Zachary Fenn, Nisbet had been struggling with his illness for the past year but did not allow it to impact his friendships.
“He was always a friend, always there if you needed him,” Fenn said. “I’ll definitely miss him.”
In response to Nisbet’s illness, Fenn and other friends of Nisbet’s organized a golf tournament that took place early last summer to help raise money for his treatment. The tournament quickly filled up and raised over $22,000, Fenn said.
“[The tournament] was about showing him there were people behind him,” Fenn said. “It was about support.”
Pedraja reminisced about the first time she met Nisbet.
“It was past 2 a.m., and I was walking past the UC,” Pedraja said. “He called out to me randomly and began a conversation that lasted almost an hour. I think I spent most of the time laughing at all the ridiculous things he said.”
She also recalled that this individual who was nice enough to make friends with complete strangers amazed her.
“I remember being completely awed that he was able to just start a new conversation with someone he didn’t know at all,” Pedraja said.
Kyle Clinch ’10, a high school classmate of Nisbet’s, described him as a truly kind person.
“He was a really nice guy,” Clinch said. “That’s basically his defining attribute. He was just really nice.”
A memorial service for Nisbet took place last night at the Berceuse Funeral and Cremation Traditions in Hampton. A funeral service is scheduled for this morning.
Nisbet is survived by his mother and father, Carmen Torres-Nisbet and Edward J. Nisbet, as well as his older brother, Jonathan.