The Oakland University community is mourning the tragic loss of a bright, ambitious student who loved her time at Oakland and the enriching experiences it afforded her.
Hailey Brouillet of Troy was critically injured in a motor vehicle crash in Rochester on Wednesday, Oct. 23. She was pronounced dead early Monday due to complications from her injuries.
Word of Hailey's passing devastated campus community members who saw great promise in a young lady with a passion for exploring, learning and taking advantage of new opportunities presented to her.
Dr. Brian Connery, professor of English and director of international education, helped Hailey organize a study abroad trip to London and Amsterdam this summer.
“Hailey was such a vital and lively person that it's particularly difficult to acknowledge her passing,” he said.
“She pursued her study-abroad experience with determination and passion, and she positively lit up whenever she talked about it. This semester she worked in our office advising other prospective study-abroad students, and she inspired each and every one of them. I feel very lucky to have known her.”
Hailey became the first Oakland University student to complete a Council on International Education Exchange study abroad program. While overseas, she was also able to visit parts of Spain, Italy and Scotland.
“The study abroad expanded horizons much more than I ever thought it would. It made me want to travel, be more independent and eager to try new things,” Hailey said.
Dr. Patricia Wren, associate professor of health sciences and director of the master’s in public health program, taught Hailey in a Community and Public Health course, and was impressed with her dedication to expanding and applying her knowledge.
“She took everything she learned to heart and worked hard to extend lessons beyond the classroom into practical applications,” Dr. Wren explained.
“In her study abroad experience, she challenged herself to compare and contrast the public health systems of Great Britain and the Netherlands. The Health Sciences Program mourns the loss of one of our talented young professionals.”
A reflection Hailey shared from the study abroad experience speaks to the warm and welcoming personality that many in the Oakland community came to know and appreciate.
She said, “My favorite part of the experience was meeting the other students in the program and getting so close so fast."
Cynthia Weil, Office of International Education coordinator, said Hailey hoped to inspire other students to have similar experiences.
“Hailey shared her love and enthusiasm for study abroad with fellow students as a volunteer study-abroad student adviser and was dedicated to helping prospective students realize their study abroad dreams, just as she had done a few months ago,” Weil said.
“We will remember her as an inspiration and miss her dearly.”
A memorial gathering for Hailey will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, at A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home, located at 2600 Crooks Road, between Maple and Big Beaver.
A visitation will take place at St. Anastasia Catholic Church, located at 4571 John R in Troy, beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, followed by a celebration of Hailey’s life at 9:30 a.m.
The Brouillet family has requested that donations in her memory be made to the Oakland University CIEE Study Abroad Program. Contributions can be made online at snipurl.com/28388qxb
, and envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Friends of Hailey are invited to view an online obituary and share condolences at desmondfuneralhome.com/obituary
Graham Counseling Center staff members are available to provide counseling services to any members of the university community finding this news difficult to manage.