When Drew Kirk was five years old, he wished to go to Disney World. That was how he met Jenni Williams, a university staff member who was working for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the time.
“Drew’s smile immediately won me over,” Williams said in an email.
Eighteen years later, they met again at a Wildcat Preview Day in 2016. Drew was visiting the campus and Williams was working as an enrollment and student development manager for the School of Information Technology and Computing.
“When Drew joined our student body this past spring, he immediately jumped into department activities,” Williams said. “He attended many of our events, often arriving early.”
Drew died on August 16 from complications after a surgery. He lived with osteogenesis imperfecta, also called brittle bone disease, but despite his disability, he got a drivers license and graduated from Wylie High School in 2012. After getting an associates degree from Cisco College, he attended ACU in the spring of 2017 as a computer science major.
“He had grown into a wonderful young man and we were proud to have him in our department,” Williams said.
Drew was bound to a wheelchair and worked with Scott Self, director of university access programs and the ADA compliance officer, to get accommodations for his disabilities. However, Drew spent time with Self outside of required meetings, having coffee and talking about life.
“The Starbucks folks loved him,” Self said. “He drank more coffee than anyone else on campus.”
Toward the end of the spring semester, Drew talked with Self about potentially pursuing a career in law. He was interested in disability law or business law and by the beginning of the summer, he decided he wanted to go into a career legal profession, Self said.
“He was clever, he had a great sense of humor,” Self said, “and just was a friend to every person he met.”
In lieu of flowers, his family asked for donations to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital or the Make-A-Wish Foundation North Texas, according to the Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home website.
Drew was preceded in Death by his Paternal Grandfather Danny Kirk. He is survived by his parents Rusty and Sabrina Kirk; brother Cody Kirk and wife Paige and nephew Casten; paternal grandmother Tempie Kirk; maternal grandparents Bob and Shirley Anthony; paternal aunt Tammie Blankenship and husband Danny, and cousin Tana; paternal uncle Stacy Kirk and wife Maxi and cousins Kylee and Maci.