In Memoriam: Vinod Kumar Vemuri (B.S. '11, Applied Mathematics)
Originally published by Columbia Engineering Magazine
Vinod Kumar Vemuri (B.S. '11, Applied Mathematics) passed away on December 30, 2014, in New York City. Vinod was born in Columbus, OH, and grew up in Murrysville, PA. He ventured to New York City in 2007 to attend school, and he immediately found his niche within the Columbia community. Freshman year, he joined the Hindu Students Organization and Columbia Raas Dance Troupe. One could frequently find him scrambling to finish his problem sets on the Lerner ramps just before he rushed off to catch up with friends on the Low steps or attend dance practice. On the weekends, Vinod explored other parts of the city, always returning home with a lengthy adventure to retell.
Vinod excelled at SEAS in applied mathematics. He cofounded the a cappella group CU Sur. Perhaps his most meaningful experience at Columbia was as Columbia Raas captain his senior year. Anyone who knew Vinod at Columbia would be able to hear his booming voice and infectious laugh from any corner on campus, and they would rush to hear about his latest adventure.
After graduation, Vinod joined Novantas, Inc., a financial services firm. He developed a solid reputation as one of the likable and talented young associates. In his spare time, Vinod enjoyed traveling, often to visit his parents and dog, Chester, in Murrysville. While Vinod believed he was developing into a foodie, he covered nearly everything he ate in hot sauce and pepper. His stories were long and animated, but he could hold a crowd’s attention for hours. At Columbia, he took fashion advice from no one, and he frequently braved the bitter winter in flip-flops and shorts. Fortunately, he developed a more tasteful style upon entering the work force, but still maintained that December wasn’t cold enough for a coat.
These descriptions do not relay even a fraction of the person Vinod was, because he is best embodied through the hearts he conquered. He turned strangers into friends, and he had a rare spirit of enthusiasm and excitement for life. While Vinod continues to live through the people he touched during his incredibly short time, he will forever be missed. The person the world has lost was more than just a good friend and son. He was truly our companion. —Puja Dave ’10BC