Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, March 21, 2001
Community mourns death of sophomore Brianna Germer, 20

Students and faculty grieved Tuesday for a classmate they said loved being outside and whose smile, one person recalled, "lit up the day."

Sophomore Brianna Marie Germer, 20, died at approximately 8 p.m. Monday at Stanford Hospital from injuries sustained when she was hit by a minivan while jogging in Palo Alto on Sunday afternoon.

Germer was running along Sand Hill Road west of Pasteur Drive at 5:36 p.m. Sunday when she was struck by the van as she crossed the road.

Police did not expect to cite the driver of the van, who was driving at a safe speed, a Palo Alto police spokesperson said. Germer was wearing a digital music player and headphones at the time of the accident, police said.

Germer's large circle of friends was having a very hard time Tuesday with her death, said Lani Freeman, a resident fellow at the Robinson residence hall, where Germer lived.

"She was delightful person," Freeman said. "She always had a ready smile. It lit up the day."

Germer, a Lincoln, Neb., native, was a National Merit Scholar and played varsity tennis and in the all-state orchestra as a student at Lincoln East High School. As a senior, she earned a 1,600 on the SAT.

In May 1999, after a Stanford campus visit, Germer told an Omaha reporter that her perfect scores really weren't that big a deal, considering the company she was in at Stanford.

James Montoya, vice provost for student affairs, called Germer "an extraordinary student and an extraordinary person. Her loss to the Stanford community is simply devastating.

"Many of Brianna's closest friends spent the day at the hospital [Monday] and were there to comfort her family upon their arrival. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Brianna's family and with all those whose lives she touched."

A campus memorial will be held for Germer after spring break, said Maurice Charles, associate dean for religious life. Organizers are waiting until students return to campus and to find out what kind of services Germer's parents would like, Charles said.

"The students are all talking about having the memorial outdoors, because she loved the outdoors so much," he said.

Brianna Germer. Credit: David Dale Photography